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Happiness: Can it be bought?

Oh Happy Day
Michelle Cochrane

As I sit in this world of negativity, I wonder how to answer the question of “What is Happiness?” After all, you rarely go out without hearing the word BUT. For example, you ask your mate how the party was and how she felt when she was falling over the table in drunken laughter? She would probably answer, “It was great but…….” Do you see what I mean?

There is still always that mantra that, in order to have good you must have bad. Perhaps this is true. Some people get pleasure from feeling pain and always want others to know that their life isn’t perfect, perhaps if they made out it was then they would be seen more as arrogant then positive?

I decided to take it upon myself to ask my “wonderful” housemate ( I promised him I would say that as he helped me out.) what he would describe happiness to be. In response he replied “I don’t know.” After telling him that this was not the most helpful answer all he told me that you can’t define it. In other words, what makes someone happy doesn’t necessarily make another as such. This is absolutely truthful, after all I don’t think the fact that a guy I have liked for ages suddenly realizing that I exist would make Aaron especially over the moon, whereas it would make me absolutely ecstatic. So straight away I face a problem. Happiness cannot be defined as it means something different to everyone.

When I think about times that I have been happy in my life, I tend to replay a scene in my mind. These all tend to be memorable,or what I thought to be large events of my life. A lot of them revolve around the great season falling upon us. CHRISTMAS.

However, as I said, these are memories and from this I believe that happiness is not necessarily a feeling but instead a moment. That moment when you realized that all the raking in your parents wardrobe to reveal what you have actually got as presents didn’t really help at all. In fact they knew that you would do that and so hid the GHD hair straighteners that you have wanted for years in a place that you would have never thought to look. Guess what I want for Christmas? Consequently, I have changed my mind about happiness.

Perhaps it is something that you can give to others. Granted, an individual has to have the feeling of immense joy to have the experience that will make them remember something for the rest of their lives but surely you can help. I know that without my parents that Christmas would not be a time that I would remember and dwell on as a happy moment within my life. I do realize that everyone deserves the right to have these moments and some have more than others.

So I might just go that extra mile this year…. Perhaps I can help my mum with the turkey. I know its not much but I can bet you that she will remember it for years. What do you think?


© Michelle Cochrane December 11th 2003

Michelle is a first year Creative Arts student at Portsmouth University UK

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