Opinion: No, don’t be this happy

by Richard Chilee

True happiness brings you immense joy and satisfaction and, in the process, does same to others.

I want to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? They don’t want me to be happy. I just want to be happy.

We must have come across those lines sometimes in life. We may even be the ones who said them.

Happiness is one of the most important characteristics of a fulfilled life. It is often regarded as the essence of our existence. John Lennon writes “When I was five years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, my teachers asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up; I told them that I wanted to be happy. They said I didn’t understand the question. I told them they didn’t understand life.” Good response from a kid at five.

But then, the biggest questions are these; what constitutes happiness? What does it really mean to be happy? A cursory look at the definition given by many will reveal with increasing accuracy that happiness is personal, what it means to you might be completely different from what it means to me.

Believe me, a simple question as “What is your definition of happiness?” will reveal the dark side of other people’s happiness. In today’s world, many people have distorted the real meaning of the word “Happy.” Most people are happy at the detriment of others; they derive a tinge of fulfilment when people suffer and groan in pains. Other people’s source of pain and agony are often the source of other people’s joy. A young lady is extremely happy having an illicit affair with the husband of another woman and causing her untold pains. A young man is delighted sleeping with a married woman thereby stealing her family’s joy. A terrorist derives fulfilment and satisfaction killing and brutally maiming innocent people. A rapist derives utmost joy in destroying the emotional and psychological life of a young lady. A man is elated exploiting others for his own material gain. These are examples of the various forms some people derive happiness. Truth is they enjoy these escapades. But then, are they what real happiness is about?

True happiness brings you immense joy and satisfaction and, in the process, does same to others. True happiness often is centred on others being happy. It involves putting smiles on your face and that of others with your actions. It involves making the world laugh; it involves making that person close to you giddy. True happiness must not revolve around you, instead, it radiates from you to others creating ripples of humanitarianism. True happiness elevates the standard of humankind.

So next time someone says “I just want to be happy,” you should ask them what their definition of happiness is. If their answer does not, will not, put smiles on the faces of others in the process; if it will make others cry, you should boldly and persistently say NO! DONT BE HAPPY.


Richard Chilee is a thinker, writer and entrepreneur. He tweets from @richardchilee


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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