Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thoughts on Happiness...

Author's Note: This is a deviation from animation and art - I will try not to do it again in the future, darlings...but sadly, you are in the hands of a madwoman.

I think a lot of people have misconceptions about happiness. People tend to think that happy people are stuck in some enviable alternate-universe bubble where only the sun shines and everyone has clear skin and health insurance.

Often, I am considered one of these happiness zombies. Because I am happy, they assume that nothing really bad has ever happened to me - that I am an inexperienced moron in the realm of human tragedy. But that's because they don't really think about it. Like many - and I'm not excluding myself here - they make the mistake of forgetting how to use empathy on an everyday basis.

Personally, I am not an inherently happy person. Like all people, I have worries, doubts, and painful - sometimes even wretchedly tragic - events that happen to me. However, unlike many, I choose to find the positive things in life and cling to them as vigorously as possible. People don't realize this simple truth: happiness takes work. It is difficult to step outside yourself and look for optimism. It is a struggle to laugh at the darkest times we all go through. But by gaining a perspective on life, really looking hard at yourself and the world around you, you'll often realize that no matter the tragedy, you will not only survive, but be able to find some small joy. Maybe it's from the natural world. Maybe it's from expressing your own creative spirit. Maybe it's realizing how poignant and beautiful it is that someone loves and cares about you, or from realizing that - no matter how you feel - you're honestly not alone.

Sure, sometimes I get depressed, but I realize my depression for its limitations - it occurs when my empathy, and my perceptiveness, are malfunctioning in some way. As soon as I remember how to think about myself in a more realistic, human context, my depression diminishes. And, in a while, I find myself able to laugh again.

Every tragedy, every loss, can become a smaller thing in this way. That doesn't mean it'll go away entirely, or that it should go away entirely. Rather, at times certain things that provoke unhappiness should be challenged with courage and vigour.

But that's exactly the point - you shape this world, and your happiness. No one else. So go make this world a happy one.

That is all.

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