Language Arts 7
22 April 2015
What is Happiness?
What is the first image that pops up in your mind when you've been asked the question, what is happiness, exactly? Happiness could be sniffing flowers every day, or maybe helping people get up from a hard life. Things or circumstances such as money, beauty, fame. and power, which people often think can bring them happiness, are only temporary or are not true happiness. Happiness is not experiencing joy or jubilation 24 hours a day, being rich, or even achieving your dream or goal. It is not materialism either. Happiness is based on genetics, life circumstances, and positive emotions. It is also being praised, feeling limitless, and becoming what you want and maintaining it for long periods of time. You feel happy when you feel loved, help people, and when you improve.
Materialism is not happiness. Happiness is not feeling good all the time. “If feeling good all the time were our only requirement, then the answer would be ‘yes.’(Happify.com, 1)” No amount of feeling satisfied will make you happy. One might say that they feel satisfied when they eat ice cream. However, you would probably want more after that. Feeling good all the time means that you want to have more, and then it would actually undermine your ability to feel happy, according to my research. For example, studies show that cocaine will make you “feel pleasure,” but the effects will wear off after a while. Over time, your brain will be
psychologically attached to the drug, and then it will want you to get it no matter the cost. For example, you could steal, sell your precious items, and even resort to violence. In addition to that, what you expect all the time is not physically possible for most people. Take “nonwealthy” people, for example, they have to live with old rags and scraps of food daily. However, they don’t expect too much, which is the reason why they are most likely to be happier than rich people. Lastly, according to
, “When you ask people what makes their lives worth living, they rarely say anything about their mood.” They would probably say something along the lines of their work or their beloved ones. They never describe what makes their life worth living; they just say works and relationships. For example, when I was interviewing my mom, she told me that her work made her life worth living. She did not say a single word about her mood.
Next, happiness is not a final destination. The oldage saying “Are we there yet?” is also used in discussions about happiness, as if a person works towards happiness and eventually “arrives” at happiness. However, then what? Unless you are the few who inherited the rare trait of naturally being happy all the time, you have to work to maintain that happiness. Utopia can only last a short amount of time, after all. For example, when you get married or find that perfect home, it only lasts for a while and wears off as we adapt to them. Furthermore, happiness is not being rich and affording everything you want all the time. Many people think that it can bring us happiness because it can buy you technically everything. It does not necessarily guarantee perfect happiness. In the movie Willy Wonka
Charlie Bucket is a poor child that lives with his parents and grandparents, eating cabbage soup daily. Of course, they wish for a more “wealthier” life. However, Charlie Bucket still
accustomed to this environment and is happy, nevertheless. Also, wealthy people tend to have an empty bowl that will never be filled. When you say you want more money, and you get it, you want more. For example, John Ciardi said in his article, “We shall all have made it to heaven when we possess enough.” (John Ciardi, 2) However, the only exception to this claim is donating to others in need. Wealth can also affect you in the aspect of being conceited. Many wealthy ...
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