What is Happiness ?

A lady who dreams of spending time with family who lives hundreds of miles away.  She is delusional about her family coming to visit her. She is disoriented and paranoid.  She relies on medication to remain fully functional.

A drug addict who gets excited for simply receiving extra food during the holidays. He has no family members to spend time with.  He sometimes sells food and medicine to support his drug addiction.

A man who prefers to spend time by himself on Christmas. He is depressed and actively psychotic. He is sometimes suicidal.   He has an elderly mother who no longer can visit him as she used to.
These are just a few examples of the suffering that surrounds us on a daily basis.  We complain about every little thing that happens to us, but forget about  the people who dream of having the basic things in life such as food and shelter.  How unappreciative can we be?  How much more are we going to ignore our suffering neighbor?  We remain fixated on what would make us happy, and disregard the needs of the “least of these”.

We tell each other “Happy Holidays!”, “Happy New Year!”, but are we really wishing each other happiness of are we simply being polite?  Are we happy when we receive the Christmas gifts, or simply being spoiled? Do we care about other’s basic needs or about our desires and wants?  The truth is, all we really care about is our own comfort and self indulging behavior.  Let’s admit it.

We don’t know what happiness really is.   We rarely think about the ones who need real happiness in their lives, not because they have less money, dirty clothes, or fewer friends, but because they have nothing at all.

Do you know what it’s like to have nothing at all?  Ask a homeless person.    Ask a severe mentally ill person.  Ask an orphan.  They will surely educate us on what happiness really means.  They would say happiness would be something like a hot meal.  Or a warm bath.  Or spending one hour with distant family members.  Or having a clear mind without hallucinations or delusions for 30 minutes.  This is what happiness really is.

Unless we are starving, freezing, depressed, petrified, or in unbearable pain, we will never appreciate what happiness really is.

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About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

8 responses to “What is Happiness ?

  • Sharvil

    That’s one way of looking at it but I’ll admit this world is fucked up and it’s not any individual error, it’s the whole society’s fault!
    Happiness was found often in individuals in the past when the society had not forced wasteful ideas into the head of their successors! but I have a feeling that everyone experiences happy moments in life some or the other time and it is impossible to remain happy for all of their life! think about it.. we are humans, our demands keep on increasing and so do the levels of our expectations and happiness and when we have achieved one level of both, we just become contempt and then keep on wanting more and more! and not everything is achieved by every person, some goals need a bit of influence and luck and most of all -efforts- from the individual who wants to achieve them! it’s a vicious cycle.. And I must admit your post deserves more attention.. at least more than it’s getting.. people need to know about this!

  • rythmandink

    I went to Haiti this past year for the first time and I saw more happiness in their faces than I’ve ever seen in the U.S. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and they have incredible smiles. It is sad to see how disgruntled everyone is here in the states. We’re supposedly the model of society. Hardly, in my opinion. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in your own every day life, that you forget your surroundings. There is something to be said for having too much of a ‘good’ thing. We’re terribly spoiled and we’re worse people for it. I just hope that there is an awakening worldwide that puts things into perspective for everyone. Great post.

  • Bill Howdle

    Noel, another wonderful post. So thought provoking, so true, If we could but appreciate all the blessings we do have.

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