Are You Happy?

Well, I’m happy that I don’t have to date anymore, or sit in classrooms anymore–but I’m not really thinking about that kind of happiness.

People want Happiness with a capital H. Happiness with a small “h” is a byproduct of other things. I’m writing a new book, I’m cuddling a cat, or suddenly I’m aware of the nearness of God: these things make me happy. But that’s not Happiness that stands alone, as a thing in itself.

People want Self-fulfillment, as if it were a free-standing object that could somehow be obtained. Like “small h” happiness, it is a byproduct of doing other things. You can’t have it all by itself.

Happiness is like heat. Heat exists when it’s produced by something else–combustion, friction, pressure, etc. If you stop doing whatever it is that’s producing heat, you don’t get any more heat, and what you have, ebbs away.

Do not seek for Happiness as an end in itself, because there’s no such thing. Stay away from colleges. Stay away from people who make a habit of being unhappy. Steer clear of Serious Mainstream Literature. Don’t listen to intellectuals.

Do things that produce happiness. If you’re cold, you have to do something that produces heat. This is not rocket science. If you’re sad, keep it simple–read a good book. Fix something that’s broken. Do somebody a good turn. Hum a nice tune. Open your Bible and read it. Pray.

Or just grow up and accept the fact that you’re not going to be Happy all the time.

Only a simpleton or a college English major would expect to be.