In this country we have the right to pursue happiness, but what is it?
People post they are happy so long as they close their eyes to things that bring them down. Think positive. Pizza, material goods, travel, family, coupons, gifts, entertainment bring happiness. Humor, whether the jokes are universal or universally inappropriate, bring happiness to others.
But are we using the right word? Awesome is supposed to be used to describe something incredible, awe inspiring yet we use it for things that are everyday and average.
Douglas Adams noted Eskimos have many words to describe rain. Perhaps there should be different words for transitory, situational, and deep happiness?
Perhaps instead of running from the shadows of things that make our hearts cry, we stand. We cry. We face and bring ight to the shadows. We become the stars changing the night from bleak to beautiful. We grant wishes through actions. We connect with each other without grudging religion, politics, color, or belief. We choose the reshape the world to prioritize people and the environment. We prioritize the real, living world - without a healthy one, it doesn't matter how nice the digital ones we create are.
Instead of escapism, choose something you can do to empower yourself. To reshape the cold apathy of our society into light, warm affection.
I think real deep happiness comes when we heal ourselves, when we accept responsibility for who and what we are and we stop choosing resentments, bias and hurtful behavior.
A good friend said he can't believe people still kill each other. Violence begets violence. Healing begets growth. It can be scary, painful and unpleasant at times but that's part of the process. If you have a broken leg it will hurt to set it properly so it can heal but if you avoid that pain you will only end up with worse pain and loss of function. Emotions have functions, more subtle than the physical body but just as important.
We make the choices on what the rules are, what is bought and sold, how, as well as how we are treated and how we treat each other.
It is time for us to all be all colors, to recognize love is important, to value our differences and honor our different stories.
When we do this, happiness is there. Real, true and lasting. It is not about closing our eyes. It is about opening them so we can take the wheel and drive.
An example in real life is Colorado Gators. In the 1970s they started as a fish farm, and got gators to feed dead fish to, a sort of natural recycling. They blossomed into a sanctuary for rescued reptilian pets as well as being a fish farm. Now they have Gators of all sizes and ages, several rattlesnakes, monitor lizards, bias, pythons, fronts, turtles and even other animals. Most of their animals are rescues, they even have horses, emu, and ostriches, as well as ducks, chickens and geese. It was a beautiful farm, rich with real farm scents of living healthy animals. Those folks change the world every day, teaching and tending animals that were taken out of the wild only to become more than their owners could manage. They have an impact. Their happiness was not a fleeting thing, like the happiness of eating a delicious pizza but instead it was a deeper bliss that ripples out into the lives of all that stop by and bravely hold the baby gator and mug for a photo.
One example among thousands. Eyes open, it is your choice.