Feeling happier than you think you deserve?

3S Happiness Jane Austen quote Learn to be content with being happier desesrve

I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.
~Jane Austen


About rcullen2015

I am an author, attorney, mediator and Professor of Law at the Santa Clara University. My first book was 'The Leading Lawyer, a Guide to Practicing Law and Leadership'. Now I am working on a book about 3S: Success, Significance and Satisfaction for the 50+ crowd.
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2 Responses to Feeling happier than you think you deserve?

  1. Kat Jolliffe says:

    I studied Jane Austen in high school and find this statement as slightly out of character. Although my high school days were over a decade ago now so unsure if my memory recall would stand up in trial 😳. I recall Jane experienced the loss of her father due to illness in the early 1800’s and the family were thrust into a state of financial insecurity and homelessness ‘couch surfing’ (aussie slang) between relatives houses for 5years (staying in spare rooms and forced to move from one country estate to another). By the time Jane Austen was 30yrs old Jane’s family had settled into their own humble country home, this is when Jane would begin to write and publish her novels ‘Pride and Prejudice’ , ‘Sense and Sensibility’ which accurately and wittingly observed and created characters closely based on people within English high society and all of its cultural norms and practices.

    I find the quoted Jane Austen comment unexpectant. Jane came from s moderately comfortable or well off middle class Englisg family, her father was a well respected Anglican Rector and graduate of Oxford University. While Jane obviously despised or found traits such as: ostentatiousness and pride as intolerable. From my limited reading I was under the impression Jane, while she would never have displayed a sense of entitlement, Jane was confident and possessed self-efficacy which were bolstered by her supportive middle class family. While the death of Janes’s father when she was 26 years old thrust the family into dire financial straits and lessened Jane’s potential to find a high society marriage partner (due to class discrimination) I did not find any evidence of Jane’s subsequent psychological deterioration. I am still surprised to read Jane’s comment conveyed a sense of feeling psychologically inferior and undeserving of happiness – did the death of Jane’s father and subsequent loss of social status and class In English society ultimately socially marginalize Jane Austen and her family as undeserving of all that English society offered including happiness? It’s possible and highly likely that in my opinion Jane Austen is in fact being sarcastic in the comment:

    “I must learn to be content with being happier then I deserve”

    as Jane possessed high self efficacy and a superior ability to accurately critique complex social interactions within English society. As an intelligent women if Jane were treated by society ladies as inferior due to factors external to her own achievements, such as: her father passing away, lost family fortune and socisl standing – this would be viewed as a superficial injustice. Jane is one of histories most astute social commentators and there’s no way given the above circumstances that Jane Austen was being anything but sarcastic or passive aggressive given her constrained social curcumstances – mocking those society members who treated Jabe as undeserving of happiness or any entitlements. Jane believed she was deserving of happiness and equal opportunities despite society members treating her as an inferior – it’s also a possie false modesty card – tell the prejudiced bitches what they want to hear! Smart Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rcullen2015 says:

      Thank you for your lengthy comment. It was very interesting, even though I’m not an Austen fan. I did think the quote was from a book.
      Kat, is it possible that this line is from a character of hers?


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