I was a bit long-winded yesterday, so I’ll try to make my Christmas post a bit more concise…
I got onto Facebook this morning and was greeted by tons of beaming smiles and pictures of presents. And that’s awesome. But what happens once the euphoria wears off and normalcy sets in? Will the extreme happiness still be there? Or will there be a little anti-climactic letdown as we get on with daily life?
My husband and I got into a deep philosophical chat about my issue with the “Happiness is your birthright” comment in the Angel From Hell trailer I posted. He didn’t understand my objection. He thought it’s a nice idea to think that everybody deserves to be happy; I argued that we do NOT deserve to be happy; just have our needs met. And that’s where we began to pontificate.
From my perspective, the only thing we deserve is to not suffer.
If I do not go hungry, I have heat when I’m cold and my other basic needs met, then that’s good enough for me. Truly.
I do not think I’m entitled to anything more than to break even in my day. Anything else is extra and while it may roll over into tomorrow and can ease any insecurities, it’s not happiness.
Similarly, money and possessions cannot bring happiness; rather, I think it just raises the bar higher to make increasing demands to keep a certain status quo. I prefer not to chase this elusive emotion. I’d rather just achieve contentment with what I already possess.
But if happiness means the ability to experience joy, then yes, we all should possesses this skill.
The key is to be able to experience intense pleasure from every day events: a feel of piece of chocolate as it melts in your mouth; the smell of the earth on a warm day; the song of a bird at dusk; a cozy sweatshirt…
All these little sensations bring me happiness because I realize how lucky I am to be able to be in the present moment and be thankful for these little gifts.
But I do not think that the mere fact that I am on this Earth entitles me to any excess beyond sustaining life.
So my 153Promise for the day is to remind my children to be thankful for all the extras they have in life.
It may be a cliché, but happiness really is a state of mind that comes from within. If being content with what we already have can be our new happiness, then that’s the key to true inner peace.
Fostering this ability is the best gift we can give our children.