The Lost Art Of Happiness

Is The State of Happiness Lost Or Forgotten?

Someone once said to me that there appears to be a happiness epidemic. That if one is not happy, society tells them their state of being unhappy is not acceptable and that one must, “Be happy and get with the program.”  

Naturally I had to disagree with there being a happy epidemic running rampant in society.  Or that there exists a program one must follow to achieve it.  However, I am most definitely all for an “epidemic” of happiness infecting mankind.

Especially if it helps to ease the pandemic wave of malcontent so prevalent in our society today.

It is unfortunate to acknowledge that too much of the world has lost the fine art of happiness. It seems that the more advanced we become, the more “toys” we acquire, the less we cultivate that place where contentment resides and the further away we are from knowing how and why it should be maintained.  Most believe they’ll only be happy with a certain someone or something.   That being happy is elusive, something outside of themselves and that they must seek out.  Or worse, wait for it to find them!  And even though feeling happy is a natural state for many, there are some who are unsure of what true happiness is.  So it’s understandable that the ability to maintain this higher-based emotion would be a mystery to many as well.

Happiness Elevates, Sadness Deflates

I have often wondered why we never seem to lose the ability to maintain lower-based emotions.  For instance, sadness, envy, bitterness, anger or hate.  These are very tough emotions to handle and maintain in my opinion. But with the two higher-based emotions, the ones we probably experienced in the womb, there appears to be a disconnect.  We often hesitate or stumble around feeling happy like a blind person does when they’re in unfamiliar territory.

I speak of happiness and not of bliss or euphoria as both are extremes of the former.  They are emotions in which few can naturally maintain for any significant amount of time.  However, I see no reason why one cannot experience moments of bliss or euphoria without having to negate happiness, or to spiral downward into lower-based emotional states in the absence of it.  Aside from extremes, I’m not the only one sold on the fine art of happiness!

There Are Many Ways To Be Happy--Pick Some!

“Don’t worry, be happy.” ~Bobby McFerrin

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” ~Tom Bodett

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ~Charles M. Schulz

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“Happiness is self-contentedness.” ~Aristotle

“The secret to happiness, you see, is not in gaining more, [things] but in developing the capacity to enjoy less…” ~Socrates

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Gandhi

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha

“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.”~ Dalai Lama

And last but not least: “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knot family in another city.” ~George Burns

You'll Know It When You Feel It

Is feeling happy something we have an innate capacity for?  Yes, I believe we do.   Think about it.

Have you ever known an infant or toddler that if left to their own devices, to be anything but happy?  They are just as snug as a bug in a rug!

Sidebar: I have no idea where that term came from, but I get the gist of it and it sounds comfy too!

They do not seek to be happy, but simply experience and express being happy.  And it’s not as if they have yet to experience contrast.  Remember, they were once expelled (and rather forcefully for some) from a very secure and nurturing environment.  For up to nine months, the womb was where all their needs were meet.  With no concept of time, that must have felt like an eternity of bliss for them!

And let’s not forget the other inconveniences they had to contend with once they arrived: Being wet, cold, hungry, startled by loud noises, having an upset stomach or gas–just to name a few.  Amazingly, after each contrasting experience, babies ease right back into happy mode, and they do so without resistance or struggle. 

They’re not the least bit interested in being more happy, happy like the baby next door, scared of not being happy or wondering how long happiness will hang around. They are unconcerned about keeping their happy mode intact because they are much more into experiencing it!  I believe it’s the reason we big people are so in awe of these little ones.  For they have indeed perfected the art of happiness.

Finally, I’ll add this concerning the lost art of happiness.  As for me in this house (body) I shall be content to dwell in happiness for all times! ~Yvonne L. Jones


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