Are you happy? Am I? Does happiness even exist?
I think it’s just an adjective used to describe a simplistic state of being. Life is much too complicated to allow us to be happy. I mean, are you happy if you have a wonderful family life but at the expense of your career? Are you happy if you’ve got a great career but can’t seem to find the right man? Are you happy if you’ve had a rough childhood that you can’t let go of? If you’re poor? If you’re fat? If you’re overlooked? Are you happy if your child isn’t happy?
Worse than that, happiness is a whole industry these days. Take The Happiness Institute, whose catchphrase is ‘life is too short not to be happy’ (you can open your own franchise, if you’re interested). And just take a look at all the books available to help you get happy – titles include Being Happy; Happier, Stumbling upon Happiness; Happy for no Reason; What Happy Women Know; and, of course, 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People.
Happiness is kinda sad when you think about it.
That’s why I’m not going for it. It’s not on my list. I don’t think happiness is the be all and end all and I actually think that thinking we should be happy is making us all very, very sad.
It seems to me that if we’re preoccupied with our own state of happiness, we need to get preoccupied with doing something else altogether. What other generation every thought about this ‘am I happy?’ bollocks? Getting on with the difficult business of living – with joy, with emptiness, with kindness, with contentment, with fear, with loneliness, with stoicism, with ecstacy – probably kept them far too busy to give their happiness or lack thereof a second thought. A life was filled with purpose and the rest just took care of itself.
Purpose. Yep, boring old purpose. That’s the dream. That’s what ‘happiness’ looks like to me.