Friday, April 13, 2012

40 To 40 Day 25: On Happiness

To get right to the point, I think this poster nails what being happy- especially continuously happy- is. I think it does a disservice to reality.

I know, here we go, the bleeding heart liberal is about to pontificate. So what- it's my blog. However, I am only able to tell you what I think. I would never claim to know if I'm right.

I really have no problem with people being happy, actually I wish more would be. I was so happy when my daughter scored a goal at her soccer game today. I am so happy my foster brother arrived today to spend time for my birthday. Being happy is a good, temporary emotion. The problem is when happy people assume that all you need to do is just change your attitude, or your job, or your location and suddenly that will change everything. You know, because they are happy. What I don't think they are paying attention to is that there are some very real problems out there, some very sad situations that you can't just poof away with a big dose of happy. I know this from experience of course, but I think of all the others who need help or are stuck in situations they can't get out of.  Life keeps beating them down. I think of my CASA child whom I try to bring some happiness to, but I know the child can't possibly be feeling happiness with the situation. And I'd never expect it.

Am I saying we should all feel sad? Of course not, and I am not saying no one should feel happy either. To me, feeling happy comes in waves. It's meant to be a temporary emotion. Here's the definition:

hap·py  (hp)
adj. hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est
1. Characterized by good luck; fortunate.
2. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.
3. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase.
4. Cheerful; willing: happy to help.
a. Characterized by a spontaneous or obsessive inclination to use something. Often used in combination: trigger-happy.
b. Enthusiastic about or involved with to a disproportionate degree. Often used in combination: money-happy; clothes-happy.

Personally, I think it would be exhausting to feel this elation all the time. What I prefer is keeping a cheerful attitude towards life:

cheer·ful  (chîrfl)
1. Being in good spirits; merry. See Synonyms at glad1.
2. Promoting a feeling of cheer; pleasant: a cozy, cheerful room.
3. Reflecting willingness or good humor: contributed her cheerful labor to the project.

It's a bit more subdued, yet you can maintain a positive attitude towards life. People try so hard to achieve happiness, and have so high of an expectation that if they don't achieve that elation, they feel even more saddened. It's an extreme emotion, like anger. It's meant to pass.

I think if we focused on living life with a steady stream of cheerful versus an elated happy high, the lows wouldn't effect us quite so much. Who knows, we could possibly have a more cheerful society because of it!

No comments: