Why I Don’t Want To Be Happy All The Time
Hello everyone, today I want to talk about happiness. The subject came to mind the other day after I posted a random meme on twitter. This is what I shared.
For me the choice was simple, if I could eat without getting fat and have a big pile of money life would be bloody brilliant.
I thought my choices would be popular with other people, but was surprised to find number 8 was by far the favourite. Why were you surprised? I hear you ask. Well, despite being a fairly happy person most of the time (stop sniggering there, I do try) I personally wouldn’t want to feel happy all the time, and this is why.
If you’re happy in the face of your own misfortune you must be a bit weird!
This was my first thought when I saw the options in the meme. Generally speaking if people are worried, sad, angry or scared it’s because there is something making them that way.
I’m all for putting on a brave front in the face of adversary. However if someone is genuine happy despite facing the prospect of losing a job or their home or any number of other common worries people have these days then their grip on reality should be questioned.
People who are happy and unconcerned in these situations generally have a head-in-the-sand approach to life. In the short term they may cling onto happiness, but avoiding dealing with situations can lead to worse consequences down the line.
Being happy in the face of others sadness is a bit selfish
While chatting to my lovely twitter friends about their choices for the meme, several said hypothetically if they took the happy pill surely nothing bad would happen to them any more. This would be very cool of course, and would take away the worry of being a weirdo whose happy during their own misfortune.
However bad things happen to other people too. We see on the news all the time about illness, poverty, terrorism, war and other suffering. Most often these things happen to strangers in places we may never visit. When I see these things on the news it makes me sad. Sometimes the sadness affects me so much I have to turn off. But even though I sometimes wish I didn’t feel quite so much sadness for the suffering of others, I wouldn’t wish not to feel it at all.
There are of course many people in the world who’s only concern is about themselves. If they even see the suffering of others they are unmoved by it. I use to be married to someone like that. He believed charity started at home and mocked me for caring about people who I couldn’t help. He said no one benefitted from my feeling sad, so why even bother. There maybe some sense in what he said, but people like him are selfish individuals and I would take my occasional sadness over their coldness any time.
Being happy in the face of injustice is a bit lazy
When we think of not being happy the first emotion that comes to mind is usually sadness. However there are plenty of other feelings that qualify for the not happy spot, including anger.
I think anger can be a very maligned, underappreciated emotion. When you think of anger its easy to picture mindless, violent thugs rampaging on the streets. But anger is an emotion that has a lot of energy behind it, and when directed properly that energy can be put to good use.
It’s anger at social injustices that energize people into taking action to change situations. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were angry about the treatment of black people. The suffragettes were bloody furious at the lack of votes for women. I may not personally go on protest marches, but my anger at injustices I see prompt me to support those that do. If I felt happiness instead of anger I wouldn’t be moved to act in support of people who want to improve bad situations.
Being happy all the time is a bit wrong
All of the arguments I’ve put above are very valid, but even if we lived in a perfect world where it was really okay to be happy all the time, I still wouldn’t want to. That may sound very odd, but hear me out.
I live life with two very unwanted companions, anxiety and depression, and often that can be shit. They can often stop me enjoying things that should make me happy, so you might think I would gladly exchange them for eternal happiness.
But the thing is the days when I do feel happy are glorious things. It fills my heart in a way that’s hard to put into words. If I felt happy every day, I very much doubt I would treasure and value the feeling as much as I do. I think you need the lows before you can properly appreciate the highs. I would never want happiness to be something I took for granted.
What do you think? If you had the chance would you chose to be eternally happy?
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