What Is the Good Life?

Is the American Dream really the good life? There is a way to live the good life that both brings happiness and requires far less of the Earth.

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What Is the Good Life?
Summer 2004         Issue #30

Secret to Happiness
by David G. Myers
Americans are far more affluent, on average, than we were in the 1960s—but no happier. What do research data tell us is the real source of joy and contentment?

Honey, I Shrunk the Middle Class
by Meizhu Lui

Street-corner Revolution
by Stephen Silha
A sunflower painted across an intersection. A solar-powered fountain. A corner tea kiosk. Portlanders are taking over their streets and teaching city officials to love “city repair.”

The Lost Art of Dropping By
by Patrisia Gonzales
Reclaiming the front porch and taking time for friends.

Cheese, Bread, and Thou
by the Cheese Board Collective
A small cheese shop in Berkeley has become a community hub and a thriving model of worker ownership.

Little Cash, Lots of Riches
by David Reynolds
In the midst of an otherwise impoverished region, the people of Kerala, India, are flourishing. What’s their secret?

Walking Through Fear
an interview with Frances Moore Lappé
Frances Moore Lappé wrote best-selling books challenging conventional wisdom on hunger, spoke to audiences of thousands, and traveled the world. Yet she had to confront her own fears when her life fell apart.

Your Stories of the Good Life
by Wes Browning & Anitra Freeman, Rick Dale, Sander Daniels, Roberta L. Wilson, Akaya Windwood
Sitting with the dying. Raising a child in a village. Honoring other gods. Homelessness and dignity.

Students Break Out
by Becky Brun & Brian Edstrom
While some spring breaks are devoted to the pursuit of the perfect tan, others take students on high-elevation clean-ups and to wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Staying Wild
by Annick Smith
As long as there are wild places, there will be sanctuary. This writer traded in some solitude to protect what’s left.

Carry Me Away
by Rachel Attituq Qitsualik
The closeness of death in daily life causes the Inuit people to treasure each moment of freedom and happiness.

The Demand for the Common Good
by Jonathan Rowe
What if the rising tide of economic growth no longer lifts the common good, but actually swamps it? What might sustain human and ecological well being?

Resources for the Good Life
by Becky Brun & Michelle Burkhart


Mother of Exiles
by Pramila Jayapal
In the U.S. today, immigrants are taking the blame for everything from environmental stresses to terrorism to the poor job market. What’s at stake for all of us in this debate?


Cover of YES! Magazine's issue 30

Letter from the Editor
by Sarah Ruth van Gelder

Readers’ Forum

Readers’ Take Action


• Electoral momentum growing at the grassroots • Being part of the e-voting solution
• Moroccan women gain rights
• Sweatshop-free sneakers
• Depleted uranium poisons again
• New alternative to Rush Limbaugh

The Page that Counts

in review
• How to change the world
• The corporation as psychopath
• Rescuing a planet under stress and a civilization in trouble

positive futures network news
10 Ways You Can Change U.S. History
by Frances Korten
This may be the most important election of a lifetime. Here are ways you can make the difference.

Yes! But How?

Discussion Guide