The Lost Art of Being Happy
It was 8.30am. I was almost at work but still seriously thinking of throwing a sickie.
Then everything changed as I turned the corner.
A dishevelled man was singing It Must Be Love by Madness. He wasn’t playing a guitar, nor did he have a bucket in front of him. Instead he was walking down the street, belting it out in a croaky, out-of-tune voice. The other people walking nearby glanced at him, mixtures of disgust and bewilderment painted on their faces.
But me? I was smiling. I love seeing people express themselves and showing their happiness. This incident oddly happened on Valentine’s Day, a day where joy is mostly found all around (whether it’s in your loved one’s hands or at the bottom of a Ben and Jerry’s tub).
It is almost fashionable to be miserable, to find something to nit-pick at, nowadays. First world problems and Donald Trump are amongst the core issues on the tip of people’s tongues.
We, as people, live for drama a little bit. There’s a saying where bad news is always good news, in an almost sadistic way.
Who decided that? I understand the world can be terrible place, what with poverty and starvation and all the awful things charity adverts will never stop thrusting in our faces.
But just take a minute to look around. I know your phone or laptop screen may be more enticing, but just look. That’s the coffee shop across the street that knows exactly how you take your brew. That’s your favourite breed of dog bounding across the park.
I bet you feel just a little bit happy.
And there is absolutely wrong with feeling happy.
On social media, you see a sea of people pouting in order to win so many likes. I just don’t understand why people think it’s attractive to look unhappy. Surely anyone would rather be with someone that smiles than is a misery to be around.
But again, people like to whinge. Anything that can add fuel to the fire, we will throw it and warm our hands against the flames.
I think I’d rather feel the warmth from the sunshine that the world shines down on us, because the world itself is such beautiful place if you give it a chance.
I’m not suggesting that you walk down the street and sing. I won’t actively discourage it if you do want to. But the point I am trying to make is… Just smile.
Life is so rich, and you will get so much more from it if you stop thinking negatively about every last thing.