People perpetually tell you: Be Happy. Be happy and your life will be better. Be happy and you’ll be healthier. Be happy because it will make others happy and the world will be a better place. Be happy, be happy, be happy happy happy.
Happiness is in essence a state of mind where you are well-disposed towards yourself and others. It covers a whole spectrum of positive emotions. Any positive emotion.
And most of us, most of the time, aim for that bare minimum, aim for the merest uplift. And why do we accept such scrapings? Because in a world full of horrors and terrors, you take what little good you get, right? You don’t hope for too much, you don’t strive for too much, you just try and be … content.
Be content that the irritating neighbour wasn’t honking for five minutes while waiting for his hids to come down. Be content that somebody bothered to thank you when you let them pass by the door first. Be content that it’s sunny, but not so much as to burn if you ventured out.
Well, fuck contentment.
If you’re going to be positive, don’t be happy, be Joyous.
Be joyous about each sunrise, which continues to offer life to all the myriad species on this tiny little rock we survive on. Be joyous about the birds that flit about on your windowsil. Be joyous at a song from years past that makes you twitch in remembered rhythm. Be joyous about … oh, the cutesy-wutesy way little babies clench their thumbs. The embrace of an old friend. The smell of cheese being grilled. The pleasurable ache in your arms after cleaning a cycle. Still having your parents around, and them still loving you. A sentence in a book that makes you laugh. A couple shyly smiling on a train. A chilled glass of iced tea on a summer’s evening. A vigorous head massage. Being able to see and read and walk and hear and touch and understand and share and support and love.
Be joyous. Seek out every little positive from every little thing and let all of it fill you, let it fill you so much that there’s no space for any regrets and concerns and irritants, let it permeate through you till you’re so suffused with it you get dizzy with intoxication, let it lift you so high that when you touch the ground again you can’t help but dance with delight, let it sear itself into your every facet so that you cannot help but radiate it, because you’re alive and you’re now and the world is still here.
Be joyous. Because contentment merely makes people envious of you, but joy – well, joy makes them want to be happy too.