So many people are unhappy today. Depression is on the rise. The traditional cultures of North America offered means to be happy that are potentially valuable in today's world. For them, happiness resulted from relationship in community. One's duties focused upon serving the community. Altruism was valued more than self-service. People defined themselves in terms of their relationships rather than their work or their status. This led to greater happiness than today's values. We conclude with a short foray into neuroscience to show that it supports these ideas. As one Lakota elder said, "isn't it grand that neuroscience is finally catching up to the Lakota."
We are born into a world of stories that quickly shapes our behavior and development without our conscious awareness. By retelling our personal, family, and cultural narratives we can transform the patterns of our own lives as well as the patterns that shape our communities and the larger social worlds in which we interact.