Hap­pi­ness is sad!

All things con­sid­ered, I’d say that hap­pi­ness, like Mar­vel movies, is rather over­rated. Peo­ple are of­ten ob­sessed with this in­eluctable con­cept

of hap­pi­ness, but the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness is an elu­sive ideal, like a car­rot on a rod dan­gled in front of a horse – go on, you’ll just keep clop­ping and end up cross-eyed.

Just what is hap­pi­ness ex­actly? Bliss? Ec­stasy? Delir­ium? Eupho­ria? Eu­phoric delir­ium? No one knows.

In the 2018 World Hap­pi­ness Re­port, Sin­ga­pore ranked 34th, one above Malaysia, but be­hind Tai­wan at 26th, the high­est-rated Asian coun­try out of 156 coun­tries. Did we rank badly be­cause, un­like the sub­stan­tive 5Cs we pur­sue, hap­pi­ness is more ab­stract and we flail and fail at it?

When I see friends on so­cials post­ing corny hap­pi­ness quotes, I worry for their well­be­ing. I think: “Get a grip.” Who, af­ter all, are they try­ing to con­vert?

Peo­ple are some­how con­vinced that hap­pi­ness is nec­es­sary (it isn’t) or good for your well­be­ing (it’s ar­guable), or that it’s healthy (so is a func­tion­ing liver). So are those hap­pi­ness quotes just an act to mask some kind of short­com­ing?

And if we’re not good at chas­ing it, then maybe we shouldn’t place a pre­mium on it – don’t up­size your hap­pi­ness or­der. And if that’s the case, then maybe tell your­self it’s okay to just be okay. To set­tle for me­lan­choly, grat­i­tude or con­tent­ment, the gamut of hu­man emo­tions – in­stead of hap­pi­ness. We can then change that song ti­tle to “Don’t Worry, (It’s Okay to Not) Be Happy.”

And you’ll be okay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.