Merriam Webster's definition of measure includes: #6 a basis or standard of comparison (wealth is not a measure of happiness). I looked up the definition of measure due to the quote from Getting To Happy. If someone asked me how I measure happiness, I do believe my answer would be: You can not.
Can not exactly use a yardstick to measure happiness. Or so I was thinking as I fell to sleep on the 23rd of February. Using the yardstick, I would say skating measured at the 3' mark. Rate happiness: on a scale of 1 to 10, are we happy yet? Although I am happy having a roof over my head and 24/7 bathroom, hot and cold running water, my happiness level is -zero in inches or on a scale.
The other definitions of measure: a1: an adequate or dure portion, 3 a fixed or suitable limit, bounds (rich beyond measure) or c: an estimate of what is to be expected (as of a person or situation). The definitions go on to include things I associate with the word (measure 1 tablespoon of flour, I am 5'2' tall, and so on.) I do know, when reading or listening, that a measure can be a planned step, less so when the word is applied to music. I did not get good grades in Music class.
I might disagree with the example given by Webster's, having money does enter into the happiness equation. I say might, due to hearing, that super wealthy people are not happy. Well known quote: money can not buy happiness. Perhaps lesser known: anyone who says money can not buy happiness, does not know where to shop. Or: it sure beats whatever is in second place.
My other pre-sleep thought while pondering the question was: health. I pictured that yardstick standing, not lying on the floor, and saw health below the level of skating. When I was skating, I knew I was happy. When I wake without aches and pains (that seems to never happen anymore) I do not feel happy. Days without a virus, flu, earache, toothache, are blessings, I forget to appreciate. I am definitely very unhappy when ailing. Money does pay for relief from pain, sickness, a dentist, medication, or doctor.
Lack of money to pay for a roof over one's head causes unhappiness, so that wealth can indeed be a measure of happiness. Not that all homeless individuals are a miserable lot seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. A tear trickles down my cheek when someone stops to care.
August 27, 2012:
I wonder why I put having 24/7 access to a toilet and hot/cold running water on a -zero happiness yardstick. I would think skating would have been much higher when taking measure of my happiness. I guess that is what happens when one is pondering just before sleep. I think my answer: can not measure happiness is the correct one for me. When I was skating my happiness was so great it likely tipped the measuring scales to one side.