“If it makes you happy it can’t be that bad” ~ Sheryl Crow
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Happy (adj): feeling or expressing joy, causing joy or gladness
I don’t believe we have an automatic right to be happy. But I think trying to be happy is a Good Thing. Misery can be very easy to wallow in but actually it isn’t all that comfortable.
I recently came across this quote by Voltaire “The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.” It really speaks to me. It’s an outlook of positivity, a way of facing the world and its myriad of challenges without despairing. Things may be awful but how we deal with them is up to us.
I started writing blogs on Happiness Is… because I was actually deeply unhappy and so writing lists of things that still made me smile in the depths of my unhappiness became a coping mechanism. I was raised to count my blessings and it’s a habit I continue to practice, most especially when times are bad. It’s not always easy to find things that make you smile, that spark a little bit of happy inside, but I think it’s important and I will always keep looking.
But to keep looking is not the same as pursuing happiness. The pursuit of happiness is stated within the US Declaration of Independence as part of peoples’ unalienable rights. Eddie Izzard does a very good bit of stand up on it, as though happiness is something to be pursued hunting-style with a gun. I think that looking for things that make you happy is a positive thing but if you can’t look around your immediate environment, emotionally and physically, and find things that make you happy then it doesn’t matter how hard you pursue, you won’t find happiness. It comes from within.
That’s not to say possessions don’t create happiness because they do. The laptop I am writing this piece on, the phone sitting next to me; they make me happy. But it is their usage, my usage, that creates the happiness. If I was writing a piece of hatred, if the messages coming through on my phone were nasty or unpleasant, then my happiness would be significantly diminished. I think it’s fine to be happy over material things but not to only be happy over material things. A piece of art can be possessed but is it the possessing that creates the happiness or the looking? A cool breeze, a gentle caress, the warm scent of baking bread; these things can’t be possessed but can create intense happiness.
Really, I just like to be happy. And I like other people to be happy. And so, even when I am unhappy and people I care about are happy, then I’m happy even though I’m sad.
What makes you happy? Always interested to know. Drop me a line on a comment box-shaped postcard.