Sunday, September 12, 2010

What is Happiness?

Happiness is defined as: The state or quality of being happy. The definition of happy is having, showing, or marked by a feeling of joy or pleasure.

There are many unhappy people, yet fortunately, there is also a great percentage of happy people in the world. Happy people are marked by a smile. Often times when we see someone smile, there are genuinely happy. However, there can be someone living as an imposter that’s not truly happy trying to pretend they are a happy person. If we are around an individual long enough though, we will most likely be able to determine if they are happy or unhappy.

Happy people look at life positively and see the glass half full instead of half empty. They enjoy life and are happy with their circumstances. However, that’s where I tend to disagree with the definition of happy. Happiness is based on circumstances around you, whereas, joy is the overflowing peace inside your heart that causes you to be happy regardless of your circumstances. Happiness is
limited by effects of life. Rather joy is a gift of God that causes you to look on life with a peace in your heart although your world may be crashing around you.

Sadly, we live in a world where there are many unhappy people. The causes are greatly varied. Some people are unhappy because of the circumstances that they were brought up in. Maybe their dad was an alcoholic and never showed them the fatherly love that they needed. They go around with a wound in their heart that their father left them and never heal from the wound. The cause of others’unhappiness may be because they don’t like their job or can’t stand their boss. So, in turn they take it out on everyone else and determine to not be happy. Many are unhappy because they have lost someone dear to them through death, divorce, or a broken relationship.
Still others are unhappy because they have never learned to be happy with themselves. According to an online article, unhappy people are usually unhappy because they have not mastered the ability to be happy within themselves.

I am not implying that unhappy people can never become happy. Rather, an unhappy person can change the way he or she thinks and become a happy, positive person. They can also receive counseling to overcome their hurt. It may take a while to be move on from whatever has caused them to unhappy, but no one is unreachable.

Unhappy people can become joyous as well if they turn to the One who gave freedom to the oppressed. The world would be a different place if people were filled with a residing joy regardless of their circumstances. Yet sadly, the world is filled with many people seeking happiness and joy, yet many never find it. Instead they are distinguished by a miserable unhappy appearance or wear a mask and pretend that they are as happy as everyone else.

Being content with life is a way to gain happiness. David Steindl-Rast said, “Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy because we will always want to have something else or something more.”

Happy people have a smile. Happiness drives people to focus on others rather than themselves. Happiness is a beautiful sunny day and running through the meadow. It is laughing with a friend. It is expectant of tomorrow. Happiness is a beautiful thing, and joy is even sweeter. I’m very grateful for the gift of both.

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