The Bluebird of Happiness
August 24, 2010

Wish for them excitement, inspiration, fulfillment or fascination. Wish for them a gravy life rich in satisfaction. But don’t wish for them only happiness. My father always says that people should learn to appreciate their pains as well and as much as their pleasures.

When you’re feeling angry, feel angry. Or sadness, frustration or discontent. Don’t deny it, don’t wish for it to end. For amongst the pains and discomforts, happiness will feel all the better.

Herman Melville wrote;

We felt very nice and snug, the more so since it was chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable, any more. But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and unmistakably warm. Moby Dick

If we felt happy all of the time, we would forget the meaning of happiness. It’s value would be lost in sameness. Awareness and acceptance of each emotion not only enhances the pleasurable ones, but it prevents life from becoming a humdrum of blissful content. So elusive and nebulous, sometimes it feels as if happiness might not even exist. The older you get the harder it is to find, but beneath this blanket term lies a myriad of alternatives. Preferences. Satisfaction, pride, motivation, inspiration, wonder, anticipation, hope, intrigue, melancholy and even rage. To only wish happiness for your loved ones, falls short of the fulfilling, complex and meaningful life they deserve. Don’t only wish for them a blue bird, wish for them a whole flight.