Happy for me, by me.
I am a privileged human being. I have had people looking out for my happiness since before I was born. It has been very nice of them to do that. They haven’t directly made me happy, but they have made it easier for me to grasp happiness on my own terms. I don’t believe one person can make another happy. It is an individual state. It can be shared, and it is better (like everything) when shared.
I used to go along with Plato (or was it Aristotle …) when he asked, “would you rather be a happy pig in a kingdom of pigs, or would you rather be an unhappy human in an unhappy world?” I thought – human, of course - I am of the unhappy thinking class while others live their, thoughtless, do what others tell you, eat what others feed you, wear what others place on you, pig lifestyle. Thinking that way may be a little unfair. Just because others don’t think about politics, philosophy, music, art, society, and the greater questions of life (and some people don’t, they really don’t – it isn’t important to them) doesn’t mean that they are happy. Are animals always happy – can we ever know? How about children? I would say that, for the most part, children (before they become cognitive and think hard about others’ feelings) are happy. Why not? It’s fun to be a kid… unless… the dreaded word – I never used it – unless, they are BORED. I never understood boredom, I still don’t. Do bored people have a lack of imagination, free will, or independence? I usually blame boredom on a lack of tree climbing or fort building when children.
Unfortunately, as of late in the US (ok, throughout history), those (happy pigs) people have been used by the powerful to create irrational fear among the masses to propel the powerful’s own agenda. This happens on all sides of an issue. It is very useful. This fear breeds unrest and unhappiness. It is compensated with superiority. If I am scared of this guy sitting next to me I won’t be when I find out that he believes that a quivering thing smaller than a quark connects the whole universe. Idiot. Because he is wrong, I am right, it gives me a false sense of happiness. (We don’t want to actually think that his ideas are valid, or converse with him about it, ohhh noooo, can’t do that) Anyway – I digress. I think that the masses also believe that happiness comes from what other people think – that is why we always try to impress: clothes, cars, and other material things. Happy does not come from material things. The happiest people I know usually have a few goofy attributes, because they aren’t as concerned with fashion – they may have to see it as a means to an end – or find fashion entertaining or artful – because they are performers or love the abstract “things”, but never for the sake of “out doing” other people… it is who they are.
Happy is not situational, there isn’t a “situation” or an ideal that will make someone content with living and life. Look at money. It doesn’t make you happy – the soap operas will tell you that, those people are unhappy, confused, and mean. It isn’t found in intelligence, it isn’t found in religion, it isn’t found in family, it isn’t found in a job, it isn’t found in vacations, it isn’t found in sex, it isn’t found in love. It is not.
…these things can add to happiness – to ease the gathering of happiness… but by themselves they are just positive building blocks in the happy home. We all know people who have these things and are not happy. We probably have had all of these things at one point and not been happy. To continue the house metaphor, we need a door into the house of happy. My door lies in living. I can have all of the above and still be depressed.
Only when I can find the joy in each thing …and it is there – there is joy nearly everywhere… sometimes it is really hard to find, and it isn’t a socially acceptable joy – but it is there. I used the word “nearly” because I am still young. I have not experienced death at close hand, I have no idea what that would do to me. I cannot believe that if everything dies that we are always meant to be in a state of constant mourning. Our society does not embrace death, nor does it celebrate life through death. I wish it did. I think fear of death is just another fear. Not that I want anyone to die – life is all-important… but to live life, one mustn’t fear death. Life is precious.
For me – happiness is living. For me – living is action and doing and creating… yeah – action, like I said at first, being active. Active learning, communicating, seeking, loving, invigorating, feeling, being felt, accepting, appreciating, and being appreciated. Children are happy because they play, playing is fun, and having fun makes one happy. Now I just have to find playful things in my everyday, and I do. My work is fun, my friends are fun, I try to surround myself with beautiful artwork and music, and do things to allow others to be happy more easily.
I am the happiest I have been in years, and I want to thank everyone who gets to enjoy it with me.
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