It never quite occurred to me how unimaginably difficult it is to define happiness up until now. I’m amazed at how broad and subjective “happiness” as a term can be. The word itself has a variety of meanings for different people. It holds a certain value in someone’s life where as another person might not necessarily find it valuable.
One thing that we as human beings very instinctively overlook is that happiness is not a trait, but a state of mind. The fact that many of us strive to refer to happiness as a concept more than a personal feeling is proof enough that we’re slowly detaching ourselves from the very emotion of it.
Now that I’m determined to pen down an instance of how ignorant we often are of the simple and ordinary things that could possibly make our day, let us start with something very basic and something that happens on a day to day basis. On a random day, when the sun’s out and we’re all too engrossed in our daily lives we forget to notice and acknowledge the tiny bits of our day that bring a smile on our faces. I mean, that’s pretty much a privilege we all should be giving ourselves. To just take a pause, sit down and count our reasons for even a little bit of happiness if not a lot. If we’re being radically honest with ourselves, these days the world’s in a rush and we’re all running after something or the other because of which we cease to feel what we should. We always believe that life will take us where we are meant to go but we hardly realize that we’re working towards creating our own place to go to. In the process, there will always be something or the other to be grateful for.
Talking about different reasons that bring us happy thoughts, my idea of happiness dwells in a corner of my mind that I have yet to figure out. From the perspective of half of that nook what I’ve understood is that I crave for the smallest of reasons to be happy, to be smiling and to feel wholesome in myself. I find tits and bits of my happy place in a few people, in a particular comfort food, in the corner of my room, in kind and welcoming strangers that I once crossed paths with and in all those beautiful places that make my heart skip a beat.
I think I speak on behalf of anyone who’s going to be reading this, that we share a love-hate relationship with happiness. The reason as to why I did not hesitate while writing the same is because I feel that over the years, we have formed a biased mindset towards the feelings and emotions connected to our happiness. I say so out of sheer despondency that has accumulated in most or all of us since years now. We are so used to the idea of us being happy for a transient span of time that we fear to seize the moment all by itself. Is it not important? It definitely is but only for the sake of it, the feeling cannot be mandated or forced upon ourselves. I might come across as someone desolate of hope but that’s not it. Life has its own way of taking us through it’s chapters and teaching us several varied sides of our emotions.
Without adding any more of my dull and dreary vibe to the term that very ironically means the opposite, let us move to the moments and days that genuinely make us happy. Not that I do not gel with the happy days in my life, I vouch for both them and the lows and blues for they come with their own tactics to make us grow. Strangely enough the necessity and the will of living for others makes me happy. My unwavering love for freshly brewed coffee in the cozy winter nights makes me happy. The aroma of a freshly baked cake, the earthy smell of the muddy grounds when the first rain hits the soil, the woody and dusty smell of books, the feeling of ticking off things on a to do list- all of this make me happy and make me want to live life, seize every moment as fresh and organic as it is. May that be walking by a cutesy café on the street, dim lit fairy lights, window shopping chic outfits or finding a ten rupee note in my pocket, these things might not be extraordinarily appealing but they are definitely things that bring happiness a lot closer to me.
As I continue writing this, I do often find myself appearing as somewhat mawkish however I stand true to my words and these are a few numbered things that induce the feeling of happiness in me. Having mentioned the above said points, let us not overlook the fact that happiness doesn’t just come to us, it is a choice that we need to make and work for it to favor us. It is rather convenient to be happy when things happen our own way but only going by that and defining happiness reduces the meaning of the emotion. Undoubtedly it is difficult to find our cause and stick to it on a tough day, but all it takes is a tiny ray of hope that lets us live the moments and fall in love with the feeling of being happy. When a day is all grim, let us keep in mind to recognize small things that need to be celebrated. It is not always possible that we can find happiness only in ourselves. That surely must be practiced however if not so, then let us go to people and places that make us happy. That is what will eventually keep us all going.
As I’m nearing the end of the essay it makes me anxious and ecstatic because currently all I can think of are the most common and ordinary of things bringing a wide smile on my face and warmth to my heart. The feeling of happiness in the truest of moments feels special so much so that it makes me wish only if I could snuggle up and keep happiness for a bit more time. I personally cannot think of a better way to conclude the essay than quoting one of my favorite writers. True to his words, with a simple and plain sentence he made sure that it reminds us all of the one sentiment our hearts crave for – “happiness”.
“With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde.
By Richita Pradhan.
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