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.