Happiness.....Or Not

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short essay expounding the ways to be happy.....or not.

Submitted: July 02, 2012

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Submitted: July 02, 2012

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  Happiness....a state of mind in which one is emotionally uplifted so as to exclude all negative thought for an extended period of time.  Sounds simple enough, just find something that makes you happy and stay there for a while.  The problem is that life doesn't stay the same...it is ever changing.  So how does one remain happy through the changing fortunes of time?  I believe the answer is unique to the individual asking that question.  That being said, there is wisdom that can be helpful to all in understanding the nature of happiness. 

  I compare our lifetimes to the four seasons in a calendar year.  From birth to 20 is the spring of our lives.  Much of the earth, both animal and vegetable come alive in the spring.  It is the season of birth and growth all over the planet.  It is the renewal of all living things after the slumber of winter, and the promise of the continuity of life.  As children we grow both in knowledge and physical stature.  It is the season we learn how to survive and sets the path we will follow to the end of our days.  From 21 to 40 is the summer of our lives.  We reach our physical prime, we are optimistic, energized, and ready to change the world!  Through the summer of our life we attain maturity on many levels, just like the flowers and crops in the fields, we prosper and procreate.  It is the busiest, most productive, and most stressful of seasons.  By the end of summer, if you have survived, you will have set the table for the rest of your life.  From 41 to 60 comes the autumn, a time to maintain yourself and reap the rewards of summer...a harvest if you will.  Your children will become adults, begin their own lives apart from you, you may even become a grandparent.  A time to let off the gas, slow down a bit, a time of reflection.  You come to realize the path behind you is longer than the one in front of you...and you are okay with that.  Finally....winter, from 61 until you pass from this place to whatever comes next.  Like the season in the winter of your life you slow down, your physical prime has long since passed, and you will suffer the loss of many things.  Your senses fade, elder friends and family will pass on, and the slowness of your step can no longer keep pace with the world around you.  The winter is upon you and prepares you for passing on.

  I am grateful for the four seasons of the year and of life.  It makes happiness easier to achieve when you understand and prepare yourself for what each season brings.  It is easier because you have only to deal with the problems of each season as it comes.  Once that season has past you no longer need worry about it.  It, along with all the worries it brought, shall not been seen again by you in this life.  There is a song by Blue Oyster Cult called "Don't Fear The Reaper".  It speaks to the natural order of life, and to happiness, if you can read between the lines. 

  For the most part I have found people are unhappy because they choose to be.  That may sound a bit over-simplified but it is the most reasonable explanation I could come up with after all I have experienced to this point.  Consider this:  Today the standard of living, on average, is higher than it has been in our entire history.  The standard is higher yet within the borders of our country.  We are still a society of free people able to choose our own path through life, to pursue happiness each and every day.  Yes there are problems to be solved and suffering to overcome, still we have the choice to be happy or not.  Plan your life with care and consideration for your fellow humans.  See the good and the bad that happens everyday and rise up to the challenges, enjoy the triumphs.  Understand where you are in the cycle of life and make your choices accordingly.  You are here.  Life is a gift not given lightly.  Stop complaining unnecessarily, instead, count your blessings....daily!  Your time here will pass more quickly than you can imagine so embrace the pageantry that comes with each new sunrise. 

  Happiness is a choice.  Each of us have it within us to be happy or miserable.  Choose well...choose happiness.


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