Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happiness?

So I'm a bit intrigued about the idea of happiness lately. I've a bunch of different (and unrelated) people espouse that basically people just want to be happy, and that what matters in life is that you are happy. I got to thinking about what this means - what does it mean to be happy? What does it mean if the meaning of life is the pursuit of happiness?

I wonder if all of this "we've got to be happy", "all that matters is that you are happy" stuff is a bit of a crock. I wonder if people spend so much time trying to be happy, or get happiness, or make other people happy that they end up unhappy themselves. Here is dictionary.com:

hap⋅py

–adjective, -pi⋅er, -pi⋅est.
1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.


Hmm... pleasure, delight, pleased. Sometimes life is tough, sometimes it isn't pleasurable or delightful or easy. Does that mean we can't be happy during these times? In fact, have you ever looked back at some of your best times as the simplest times, the times when you've had to get together with others and work hard to make it through, where things weren't particularly pleasurable or delightful and yet somehow... fullfilling?

I've started pondering the idea that if you seek happiness it will prove to be elusive. Maybe seeking after a compelling life - a life that matters, that puts others first even to the point of death (yes, like Christ) would be the most rewarding, the best life. But it might not be the happiest...

1 comment:

Kelly said...

i think happiness is the wrong word. Joy would probably be more appropriate because joy is unconditional. I agree that happy is elusive, when we are selfless we are fulfilled (and most Christ like)and can be joyous even when it is difficult to be happy. just a thought