What Makes One Happy? Part 4
Happiness, is it fleeting or can it be real and sustainable? Over the past week or so, I wrote a series of articles on happiness. When I started on the project, I wanted to refer to more generalities. Yet, as I started writing my first article I discovered that I could not write about happiness in general terms but as it referred to me. I didn’t know how else to say it.
Earlier in the week, someone wrote me, asking the question, “What is Love without Color?” Perhaps you received a similar question from this person. I answered back, “Color attracts but distorts, lack of color reveals one’s true self and is sustainable.” I could ask the same question regarding happiness.
“What is happiness without color?” What do you think?
Upon reflection, color, as it applies to love or happiness, could have many good answers. My answer was just one. I had given my answer much thought before I replied. Answers I could have sent were “Color reveals and attenuates love,” or “Color shouts love to the world to see and share.” Several other answers come to mind.
Substitute happiness for love, and I dare say, the answers remain the same or at least similar.
But my articles go deeper than that. I really believe in the difference between short-term and long-term happiness. I think that everyone needs and yearns for both. Single night encounters with someone that gets your rocks off is beautiful and delicious. However, it’s not the same as sharing years with someone who knows you inside and out and feeds your needs in bed and in everyday life.
A child is thrilled when he or she opens a present on his birthday or at a holiday. They squeal with joy in finding a treasure in the form of a doll or toy truck. It’s a short-term happiness for sure. Their real happiness, long and sustaining happiness comes from the love and care of their parents, mentor, caregiver or siblings. An adult does the same thing. Flipping a property for profit versus the years satisfying a desire or need to succeed in their chosen career as a building contractor are examples of short-term and long-term happiness.
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” Bob Marley
How astute is Bob’s quote. I think he captured some of what I feel in just nine words. To me, happiness come from enjoying life, participating in life, interacting with all life, and appreciating all life. If you haven’t guessed, when I use the word life, I refer not to just all people, but life in general. From the worm in the ground to the plants we walk on or appreciate from afar, to the pets and wildlife who enrich our lives, and to people around the world, who help us with our car registrations to the ones that we come home to, everyday. They all have something to enhance our individual lives. Acceptance is crucial or we can never be happy either in the short-term or the long-term.
Some people find happiness in loving others, caring for others, or abusing others. I don’t understand the last, but I accept that it is real. We all know that there are monsters out there. I even write about them in some of my novels. I just can’t relate to them.
I firmly believe in the concept of ‘doing whatever makes you happy.’ What I would like to wish for this world we live in is ‘Doing whatever makes you happy as long as it does not hurt or harm another.’
I dare say, there are some out there, perhaps even some who read this article, who won’t agree with my clarification.
So, I ask you. Do you feel the rain or do you just get wet? What do you think? Do you agree? Write me and let me know. I welcome your thoughts. In the meantime, I trust you’ll have a good day and a better tomorrow.