I Want Life to Be Worth My Happiness, Not Pain
I want people to be worth more than my while. People who are worth my happiness, the time we spend together, the laughter we share, and the sorrows we confide. I like people who inspire me, who tell me that life is good despite everything that happens, because as long as there are people to enjoy it with, there will always be hope.
It’s highly beneficial to view life through a lens of positivity. We go through difficult times that drag us towards a profound change in consciousness. Sometimes, social equality and sensitivity towards our fellow human beings become empty and almost obsolete abstractions in the face of the drive towards money and a superstructure that’s constantly moving its strings.
“Anything that’s worth having deserves our effort and attention.”
In these times of collapse, old guidelines have more value than ever. The ones based on connecting with people and recovering our love for the simple, pure, and important things in life, like love and friendship. Because ultimately, the smallest things produce the biggest changes. A slight rustle of the wind can cause a big change.
These days, nobody’s in the mood to waste time on things that cause harm, that extinguish laughter and hope. We want people who make us shine, we want open windows and clear paths. We long to convince ourselves that creating a better world is always possible if there’s enough collective will.
The search for happiness in a sad society
Happiness as a constitutional right appears in many governmental documents. In the US Declaration of Independence, for example, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin wrote in the preamble that everybody has the right to the pursuit of happiness. Japan, South Korea, and most recently, Brazil have also included this right, which, more than just a fantasy, is the most dignified kind of respect that humans can aspire to.
“Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”
Socrates also reminded his students that the ultimate goal of every person is to be happy. In order to achieve this, according to the wise Athenian, we should invest in virtue, in being an example for each other. Buddhism, for its part, teaches us about mental balance and detachment from material things. All of these pillars, as ironic as it seems, have been pushed away by Western societies, which are always focused on raising GDP, and end up neglecting their unhappy populations. And even if they know the recipe for happiness, it’s impossible for them to make it a reality.
We’ve given way to a world where to most people, things aren’t worth happiness, they’re worth profound suffering. In fact, the World Happiness Report, which is written every year, reports that the countries with the most advanced technology and the highest GDP are not the happiest. Instead, cultures that are very focused on family relationships and friendships are the ones that achieve a more decent, complete, and satisfactory level of emotional well-being.
Creating a world that’s worth hope, not pain
Creating a world that’s worth hope, and not pain, doesn’t happen overnight. It requires meticulous labor and above all, a change in consciousness from the smallest spheres of society. From ourselves. We know that states don’t view happiness as a fundamental objective, that the care of emotions and individual well-being have been displaced by the “well-being” of the figures and numbers that guide our stock market booms and crashes.
“When we share, we increase our capacity to be happy.”
Therefore, it’s essential that we start to open the windows inside us that have slowly corroded over time. It’s time to pay attention to our inner world so that the outer world can be worth our joy, our laughter…our life.
Keys to change
It might seem obvious, but something as simple as valuing happiness and inner balance can be the best key to change. This perspective can help you to:
- Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, who encourage you, who allow you to be yourself all the time. Allow this filter to let in these people, and block out those who only make you worried and upset.
- Happiness is, above all, an absence of fear. Maybe it’s time to rationalize your fears, to shed light on them and transform them. This filter should keep out those paralyzing fears that trap you in your comfort zone.
- It’s also time to think about the meaning of “crisis.” For the Greeks, crisis (κρίσις) was simply a period of change. Times of uncertainty are also times of valuable opportunities that have always brought out the best in us through resilience and creativity. These are vital moments that have no place for giving up.
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, known best for her research on positive emotions, around 50% of our happiness is under our control. The other 50% depends on the things that happen to us and even certain biological factors. Those aren’t bad odds. This is a wonderful place to start to make each day worth our happiness, our dreams, and our well-being.
Images courtesy of Rafal Oblinski