How To Be Happy
Everybody wants to know: how can we be happy? Well, it certainly isn’t by being cynical, and that’s our problem right there. Before social media we would focus on our own lives and selves, but now it seems like we’re almost always comparing ourselves to and competing with others. Happiness is what brings us together, and I think the three main things that make us happy are family, food and music. According to studies, the happiest country in the world is Finland for the sixth year in a row. However, I believe that if your metric for happiness is family, food, and music, that the happiest culture in the world are the Latinos, specifically in Central and South America. In Latino culture, family is the backbone and structure of their society, not government. In America, we seem to care more about what the government is doing than what our families are doing in general. In America, we are living in a society of technology which is helping but it is also tearing us apart as a culture. Social media is great in the sense that somebody from Colorado can be talking to somebody all the way in Africa. However, I believe that social media is ruining the socialization of our own families in our own homes.
For me, lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic was ironically one of the happiest moments in my life because it brought me and my family together. For me, that includes my wife, my stepdaughter, and my mom. We were at our farm and we would have dinner together every single night. There were even a few nights when we would have dance parties after dinner, even if it was just for a little bit. Times like that make you realize how lucky you are to have the things that you have. We also would sometimes tell stories, the way that people have been gathering to tell stories for thousands of years. Music is just another form of storytelling; it is simply telling a story with instruments and melodies. The ancients would tell stories of their ancestors and their people. Happiness is doing what you like to do, not doing what you need to do. Unfortunately in our society, we have to do things we don’t necessarily want to do to make our society work; unless by that one small miracle, we come up with an idea that nobody has come up with before and the money starts to pour in like a flood. It use to be that the previous generation would do things they have to do so the next generation would have to do those things.
We all need to stop for a moment and think about what we are doing. Maybe that’s why covid happened, to force us to pause and reflect on what we have. But in general, as a society, we just want to consume more than we give back or help others. Sometimes I wonder if life was better when we were all cavemen because there were no labels; there was no need to create the Black Lives Matter movement, Me Too movement, or fight for LGBTQ+ rights, because they were all just people and saw each other as such. I wouldn’t have to try to tell people that you can’t compare people who are actually disabled to people who just learn differently and say they are learning disabled. Back in the caveman days, we were all equal. But then the royal families and then governments came and they had to be able to get funds to go to those groups of people. Then people who were labeled differently became angry and then they became divided. It’s like the Tower of Babel, we all spoke the same language at once and became a little too greedy, and too curious, and we wanted to know the truth of what was in the skies. Then God became mad at us, and made it so that we could never understand each other again. Happiness is being who you want to be and being proud of who you are no matter what you look like or where you come from. The common denominator of humanity is that we all want to be accepted by each other, so let's stop this discrimination, accept each other at face value, and enjoy true happiness.