If a hundred people on the street were to be asked to tell what happiness is, there will be a hundred different answers. Because since time immemorial, so many meanings and expressions seem to have been invented about what happiness is. It is as if it is left to every individual to decide what happiness is for them and how they see it fit.
However, according to the Oxford English dictionary, happiness is the feeling you have when things give you pleasure and can be quite a lively feeling; contentment is a quieter feeling that you get when you have learned to find pleasure in things. But even this definition in itself creates more confusion than clarity due to its vague nature.
Looking at today’s world, though, it seems happiness is never there. It seems as if every man’s effort and activity is for nothing else but the pursuit of happiness. It‘s as if happiness is always something to be attained in a distant future. That one should suffer now only to experience happiness in an unspecified future.
But what if it is the definition that got it all twisted? What if true happiness has nothing to do with pleasure? – especially that pleasure is temporal. What if pleasure is just pleasure and excitement is just excitement – on their own and detached from happiness. What if happiness is a natural state that is constantly there but ever missed due to man’s constructs of chasing the wind? What if happiness is not something to be pursued and we can be happy even when things do not go as we expect, plan, or as preferred?
True happiness is acceptance. Acceptance of life and everything that comes with it. Accepting that in life, good and bad will happen and that all these should be expected and never to come as surprise. That there will be days of sickness and well-being, joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness as well as pleasure and pain. And that just as natural as birth and death as well as darkness and light – none can exist without the other. Even when circumstances, places, and people change, the natural state of happiness remains intact and constant.
Acceptance is the main source of happiness, not the pursuit of things. The pursuit of things should be for one reason only, to pursue them for the sake of attaining them. In other words, the pursuit of anything should be an end in itself but not as a means to an end. It is only upon this realization that even the pursuit of self-actualization becomes irrelevant. That we find that man came into this world in a completely natural state – the state of happiness. Everything else coined as happiness was merely for another man’s profit margin.
With that said, it would then mean that happiness can never be attained. Not because it is impossible, but simply because it is not something that is meant to be attained. It could also be that the life we live here and the earth we live on are the best to be and anyone else who would tell of another better place somewhere else, could be the one making this one here miserable.
OSHIMWENYO will be published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.
2020-06-26 11:26:09 | 3 months ago