Happy Isn’t All Good
Some happiness doesn’t deserve the term. Despite the carte blanche phrase, “Whatever makes you happy [is worth doing]”, some choices are a dismal pick.
Like drug abuse. Quite apart from the illegality and all the dangers it incurs, substances that do physical and social harm are ultimately miserable ways to “get happy”.
Just like so many decisions we make. Hoping to find happiness in too many bottles of alcohol, a dishonest relationship, or criminal activity smear sorrow into happiness to create excitement based on a big fat lie.
In the end, disappointment, confusion, and desolation have to be factored in as consequences. And though we know these things, we remain vulnerable to making these unfortunate choices.
That’s why people who ply the “oh it’s all good” theme are wrong. Much that gratifies in an immediate sense is liable to get us into trouble. So for happiness to be sustained, it needs to be connected to qualities.
What kind of qualities? Well, suffice to say if your happiness harms nobody (including yourself), it’s a good sign. But an even better one is to also bring happiness to others in the process.
Qualities like sincerity, courage, generosity, kindness, patience, wisdom, and imagination elevate happiness into something durable, and deeply satisfying. There is nothing sanctimonious about it. Merely, that worthwhile happiness has encouraging aspects to it.
Inevitably, the result is something beautiful (for beauty and happiness are intrinsically linked). That’s especially evident when the things you choose to do are meaningful to you. The combination of qualities and meaning make happiness stronger and last longer than any thrill can ever do.
Some will try to moralize the issue. But I believe that happiness is just an outpouring of the potential within us. How we think is the thing, and if we act with good intentions then happiness has a chance to thrive.
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