I’ve been having thoughts about happiness, and how we generate meaning in our lives, because happiness is this thing that drives decisions. He’s nice, but he doesn’t make me happy. I know it’s a decent paying job, but I’m not happy there. It’s as if the population is striving for some kind of destination, this feeling of jubilation that will be the ultimate meaning. We’re searching for the magical means that will take us to The Hill of Happiness. Like maybe there’s a Go-Kart to happiness, or a rickshaw to joy, and we’ll be happy if we could just find a way on board.
So, what is it? What is it that decides our joy?
Is it circumstance that lifts us up? Throws us down? When we find ourselves in a pit of despair, or in the general sorrow of being, is it the universe’s door we bang on begging, demanding, happiness? The constitution states we have a right to it, but where does it come from? How does another entity infringe on another person’s happiness?
It feels like everywhere I look, everyone I’m looking at is searching for joy, and I wonder if maybe we’ve all been looking in the wrong places. There’s a wonderful magnet hiding among the baby photos hung up on my refrigerator that suggests
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
While it’s cheesy and cliché, I noticed that my magnet had a point. Maybe it’s not somewhere out in the universe, or in another person- a partner, a friend. Maybe pointing fingers at parents, siblings, school, finances, disease, or any circumstance will just put off any kind of happiness we may be finding in ourselves. I think maybe it’s about a simple decision to feel happy.
There’s a song on the radio by Pharrell Williams that’s been ringing joyfully in my ears, and probably in yours as well. It’s called Happy, off Pharrell’s new CD, “GIRL,” and originally part of the Despicable Me soundtrack. The song, for me, inspires happiness. It’s one of those cruising in traffic on the belt parkway, counting the seconds into minutes wasted dodging potholes and other drivers, but suddenly the whole world is bright with possibility because I’m clapping along in time to something inspiring songs. Pharrell even created a website that plays the song on a loop to videos of dancers called,
I think it’s revolutionary. I think it may be the journey we’ve all been trying to take.
Maybe happiness is a state of mind we have to remind ourselves to inhabit, something to practice until it’s a routine, something to sing on a twenty-four hour loop in our heads and in our hearts.
So, clap along if you feel like happiness is truth.