Saturday, August 9, 2008
Happiness or contentment?
A thought passed by my neurons sometime ago and it left me bemused.
So now a new opinion is made, [subject to change, conditions apply :-P]
Happiness is the most over-rated among the emotions.
No-one likes not having happiness. So, it comes and goes as it pleases and we wait longing for more of it to come by.
And then they say, happiness should be coupled with sadness in our lives; thats how we will know the "value" of being happy. But can we manage that? Give happiness the importance and it will be around rarer. When we are happy, we forget about the harsh realities around and choose to rejoice. Why do people do drugs? to get the high and feel at ease. Is that happiness? How do we define happiness? does happiness in certain things dominate other things?
I tag happiness of being over-rated because people choose to ignore that, it misleads us, too much happiness does. Happiness is not humour. If that was so, stand-up comedians would be the happiest people in the world. For me contentment is more important a virtue. Or when people say that they are happy, they actually mean that they are contented?
We always knew that "man is the most selfish amongst all beings", is this the reason why happiness is prefered above contentment? Or is the latter a very whole-concept and people prefer to look at things selectively, be happy about some of the things happening to them and forget about the rest of it, atleast momentarily.
I say I am happy....
*~* when I am full. Either with respect to food, or emotions, or relationships, or discussions, etc.
*~* when things are going my way, just the way I wanted them to be.
*~* when my questions are answered; [might be the same as 1 & 2, but is important to me.]
In other words, I am happy when there is contentment. So for me happiness is synonymous to contentment, and contentment comes by expecting less. They say, "when you smile, we know you are happy." I don't need a reason to smile. Call me a maniac, but if something is either funny, or cute, or reminds me of something, or makes me feel good, I smile :-) Not because I am happy, but because I considering smiling to be a part of being alive.
I came across an article on contentment recently and the jist of that write-up was, to be contented with what we have and not be contented with what we are. It made sense. Things we own, keep changing; they don't mean much. They bring joy for sometime and then we move on. But if we grow, as people; we learn, as appreciators; there is a zest to be better; we shall live better. When this is lost, the zeal to live will be lost. I can relate to this concept. Maybe somewhere we have to know our limitations and aim for what is achievable. But isn't it us who determine this "boundary" for our capabilities?
Dreaming leads to Aiming leads to Working leads to Succeeding leads to Contentment leads to Happiness.
Or did I get the very meanings of the terms incorrectly?
How do you define happiness?