A Look Into Society’s Idea of Happiness
Somehow we seldom look at things this way. Society’s idea and happiness philosophy have created in us a mindset that diminishes the importance of happiness. This mindset conditions us to feel a sense of selfishness and egotism when we do things to make ourselves happy. There is the feeling that we shouldn’t do it, that it’s not right. It is as if somehow we do not deserve to pursue happiness for ourselves. At times pursuing happiness can even feel ‘wrong’. People generally believe that it is not right for someone to truly pursue their happiness or care a great deal about it. There is the belief that no one should make happiness a priority; we shouldn’t do something if the objective is solely for making us happy. That is the philosophy happiness that our society collectively has. When you think about this objectively and with common sense, it seems crazy that we are denying ourselves happiness so much and yet still complain that life is miserable. This is a very real paradox that we as a society are dealing with on a daily basis. I know people who sometimes feel guilty when they are happy. These are the same people who, when they are having fun, deliberately make themselves not so happy. These are the same people who, when they have opportunity to be happy, pass it off.
Development of the mindsetThis philosophy happiness is really developed from experiencing the reaction to happiness that other people have. When someone really goes out and do things for their happiness, often times the people around them won’t fully give their support. In fact, it is more likely that they will be against it. There is a higher tendency is to discourage the pursuit of happiness and put others down. There is an unconscious belief that if someone pursues happiness, it means that somehow they are taking the happiness away from somewhere else. It’s like there is a limited supply of happiness and that person is using it up only for himself. We believe that if someone is too happy, it must mean that he or she is just enjoying life and not contributing enough to the world. They’re not pulling their weight and other people are suffering because of that. How true is that philosophy happiness? Although not completely unjustified, we only need to observe the world neutrally to realize that relating a person being happy with someone else being unhappy doesn’t make sense at all. So why is there this kind of mindset?
IrresponsibilityThe root of this thinking stems from irresponsibility. From not taking responsibility for one’s life and one’s happiness. When an irresponsible person whose life is miserable sees that other people are happy, he will unconsciously want them to be miserable. Subconsciously he will try to make them miserable by not supporting their happiness and using guilt tactics. Doing so will make that person will feel better about himself. Seeing other people miserable will vindicate to him that life is indeed inherently tough and unhappy. It will reinforce the belief that happiness is out of his hands. He is then justified to stay in his comfort zone and carry on with his irresponsible way of life.
Giving happiness the importance it deserves and taking responsibility for it is the happiness philosophy that everyone should adopt. Only a change in mindset will bring you lasting bliss and the power to control your life.
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