July 2nd, 2002

monkey pirate

(no subject)

[7/3/2002 1:43:54 PM | David Krieger]
Happiness Is...

One of the questions that has always plagued me is... what is happiness?

I've written in the past about what I think happiness is - that it is a fleeting moment, usually triggered by perception of something sublime, pleasant, or beautiful in the world. It doesn't last - and trying to make it last only makes it less likely to occur. However, a light heart and an open mind can lead to many perceptions of things that bring happiness. But happiness is not a state, there's no deed to perform, or thing to own that will bring lasting happiness... it ebbs and flows, and the joy of life is in experiencing every moment of it, sad or happy.

But others have such a different idea. I ask people this often, especially in "getting to know you" conversations. What is happiness?

To hear others answers is fascinating - to some it is a state of balance, between work, family, personal and physical activity. To others it is something to be achieved, that one can work at, and become better at. To others it is peace, to others, acceptance of the world as it is. So I wonder - what is happiness?

Is it entirely subjective? Why do we desire happiness above all else? If you ask someone what they want out of life, nine times out of ten they will tell you, "To be happy." But then ask them -- "What does it mean to be happy?" and they will often be at a loss for words. As something we strive for so much, shouldn't we understand it better?