Happiness. One word. Many Definitions.
The Merriam-Webster defines happiness as “A state of well-being and contentment”. It sounds like a pretty straight forward definition, right? Wrong…
Happiness has a different meaning depending on where you live, how old you are and the obstacles you have faced in your life. In North America, being happy means owning a big home, riding a nice car, going on vacation every year and having a comfortable amount of money to buy other material goods such as clothes, cell phones, play stations and whatever else an individual can think of buying. My personal thought on this is that we’ve reached a pretty sad stage. Most of us have forgotten what is really important to us because we are being over-consumed by so many other meaningless things… yes, things.
So while the Western hemisphere is busy consuming useless products to keep themselves entertained and happy, other parts of the world seek happiness in other ways. For example, in Vietnam happiness depends on good rice crops and spending quality time with the family. In Pakistan right now, happiness is more along the lines of being alive. Nothing else matters at this point.
Happiness is indeed a personal feeling or way of experiencing what the world has to offer. It’s not limited to a country or a culture. But the less you have, the more you seek happiness in the necessities of life- food, water, family, friends. On the other hand, the more you have, the less appreciative you are and the more you seek. It’s never enough.
We don’t have a reason to be unhappy. Being part of a Western country gives us access to freedom of speech, education, healthcare, food, water, electricity, social services and so much more! Let’s start by appreciating what we have, being content with our lives because while the person beside you may have a bigger home than you, remember that the person across the ocean from you doesn’t have food today.