How important is it actually to be happy? Most people would think I am weird for just asking that, but if you take a second to step back and think about it, I may just not be that crazy. I’ve written about Toxic Positivity before, and the almost mandatory focus on being optimistic and happy. In general, shouldn’t happiness just be a side effect of the life you are living rather than a goal in itself? Don’t we miss out on a lot that life and living has to offer if we just focus on being happy? Everyone talks about being happy without any substance or understanding what are the consequences. Because there are some.
When I was younger, a teacher once told me it was more important to live an interesting life than a happy life. It’s still stuck with me. I often wonder what does it mean to live an interesting life. Since then, I have come to find out a little more about it. I have come to find life is full of adventures and feelings you get to know with time. It’s rarely as simple as happy or sad. And that’s the beauty of it. As the saying goes “Even the longest life is too short”. Although not always pleasant, emotions and their variety are in deed what makes the essence of life.
A great example is art. A lot of art come out of the diversity and complexity in life. In a third man Orson Wells wrote: “In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” There is something to be said that experiencing life it it’s fullest capacity is what makes us reach our greatest capacity.
I would agree that a life spent without happiness is a life that would be very difficult to live. But a life just spent being happy is not a life fully lived.