Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rant of the Day: What Is It With You People?

by JccKeith

Be Happy
By people, I mean everyone.  If I see one more post about how you'll never be happy if you care what other people think or if you don't let go of your past or whatever advice - I might just scream.  How many times do we have to see these same quotes on facebook, on pillows, on t-shirts and bumper stickers?  My point is, if you haven't gotten the idea, haven't embraced the concept yet, you probably never will.  Posting and reposting these quotes and sayings is not useful, it's annoying.

Unless you've never read a book, watched a Hallmark special or crawled out from under the rock where you've been living, there is absolutely no chance any of these sayings are new to you.  Yes, I have been guilty of reposting these quaint little phrases but at least mine aren't offering advice on getting over life, not usually.  Mine tend to be snarky, sarcastic phrases about how if you're waiting for me to care about your opinion, you might want to pack a lunch.  Something to that effect.

Even the schools try to teach children that happiness lies within.  They encourage confidence and self assurance.  They encourage kindness and generosity.  Schools also attempt to prevent bullying.  Yes most students will entirely miss these messages intended to guide them to a happy life.  Most will spend a vast majority of their lives not happy with something, whether it is their financial, emotional or general situation in life.

You Have Arrived
Our society encourages people to never settle, to always want more.  This concept is the essence of consumerism and materialism.

You need more to be happy, you need to be better. 
You need the approval of others for your happiness to be valid. 

 So who do we believe; the schools, the well-intended phrases, or society and everyone around us?  Unfortunately, the consistent posting of the well meaning quotes about not caring what others think, about being happy with what we have, and about accepting life - these constant posts and reposts tell me something is amiss.  If we are happy, why do we feel the need to share these jewels of wisdom?  Why do we treat them as diamonds in the rough?

People have bought into the idea that nothing will ever be enough.  We tell ourselves we'll be happy as soon as we get that new car, buy that new, bigger house.  We'll be happy as soon as we finish college, as soon as we get promoted, as soon as we're making $250,000 a year or whatever.  The point being, at no point in life do we ever stop and say, alright, I've reached the goal and now I'm happy.  Even when we do finish that to-do list, buy that car, get that promotion, the moment is fleeting and the temporary sense of fulfillment and accomplishment fades fast.

So the question becomes, what will make us happy?  Is it a change in our attitudes, our concerns, our priorities or our circumstances?  What is happiness anyway?  Courtesy of Wikipedia, here is a fairly decent definition:

  • "Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.  A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.  Various research groups endeavor to apply the scientific method to answer questions about what "happiness" is, and how we might attain it.  Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion."
There you have it.  Clearly defined, right?  Now that you have a definition, it should be easy to attain.  And hey, you have all of the added assistance of all of those posts and reposts on facebook about how to be happy being this way or that!  Seriously, happiness is very simply, a state of being.  Happiness is not dependent on your circumstances, your location, your financial status, your job or your surroundings.  It will not be attained by reading old proverbs and phrases, so let's all give it a rest with the reposting.  

Clap Your Hands!
Happiness is all in your head and is completely subjective based on your opinions, your thoughts and your feelings.  You define what happiness means to you, not everyone else.  Your experience of happiness is different than anyone else's and when it happens, when you feel it, you'll know.  So, if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!

1 comment:

  1. Those drive me nuts too Julie! Love this post.