Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What Makes Happiness?

 There was a report on the news yesterday saying that a survey showed a worrying percentage of teenagers were unhappy. My first reaction was that the percentage was not worrying, turn the stats around and lots of teenagers were happy. My second reaction, what’s new? My third reaction, when did happiness become ‘a right.’?
    There are certain things in this world that are considered to be ‘a right’. Food, housing, education, safety, health care, these are the sort of things everyone should be able to access in an ideal world. We know there are many places in the world where these things do not exist. But happiness?
    Happiness is an emotion that comes from  within a person’s psyche. The richest person in the world could be unhappy, the poorest, happy. It all depends on how that person views the world around them.
    The thing that galled me most about this report was the teenager the interviewers chose to make a statement. She claimed she was, or had been, unhappy because she never received a Blackberry for a present even though all her friends had one and she really wanted one.
    News for this teenager. Having ‘things’ doesn’t guarantee happiness. Ask any number of adults who have raked up debt in the pursuit of ‘things.’
    I know parents’ spend a fortune on trying to give their children things that will make them happy, but when it becomes a case of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ then it’s time to explain the facts of economic life.
    But back to happiness. Happiness cannot be guaranteed, it cannot be bought, it will never be universal. Contrary to the song you can’t MAKE someone happy. Two people can share the same environment, have the same background and the same prospects. One can be happy, the other sad. There could be factors that make life difficult or distressing. It’s up to the individual to learn to deal with these and find out how to resolve them. That’s part of growing up. The world is not a happy place. Happiness comes from within. The sooner teenagers, and the rest of us, realise this the happier everyone will be.  


  1. Thanks, Mike. It's good to know SOMEONE is looking at my posts! Feel free to click the Reactions boxes!