We always have this question in our minds whether we are happy or not. What is the definition of being happy? With the rise of social media and networking, we have built some idea about what happiness in general is.
So, let’s meet these two people. And tell me who is happy? Below is how they spend their Friday evenings.
Anand logs out of his work at 6:30 PM and jumps into the elevator and runs out of the office.He meets his fellow college friends for dinner at one of his favorite restaurants that night. They reconnect to their old memories and have a wonderful time together. This helps Anand refresh his mind. Later, they go to a bar to have a few drinks and dance on the tunes of the DJ.
Khush was stuck with work as he had found an error in his program and he couldn’t leave work on time. Finally he logged out at 9 PM, took a cab to home. He had his food ordered from an Indian restaurant close by. He watched an episode of a web series while having dinner and then went back to his room and continued reading a new book he had purchased of his favorite author. For next four hours, he was in the bed, reading his book while his favorite instrumentals played in the background.
Now, tell me which one of these two is having an unhappy life?
Is it Anand or is it Khush?
Well, I tried to find this out. And let me tell you, the answer is – Neither.
Let me put it in another context:
You remember 3 idiots? Then, let me tell you:
Rancho is happy. But at the same time- Chathur is as happy as Rancho.
We – as a society- are failing here. We are living in an illusion that stops us from believing that Chathur can be happy too.
We have generic norms fixed that if you want to feel happy- these are the only ways you can be happy. If you aren’t following these paths, then you are not happy.
But, when we move away from this farce and look from an outsider’s perspective, we can see that there is a clear difference between Being happy and Showing to the society that you are happy.
Showing the world is just a small subset of being happy. And being happy can vary for every person and you need not be in a majority to feel that you are happy.
Anand is considered as a happy person by majority of the society as he is hanging out with his friends on a Friday night and is visible in restaurants and pubs with his group. While Khush is considered depressed as he is spending a Friday night at home in his room and has no friends.
But when we think from Khush’s perspective, it can be that he is avoiding his friends because he wanted to enjoy his favorite meal alone watching his favorite TV series episode.
Films, social media and advertisements have always highlighted Anand’s kind of behavior when it comes to feel happiness. A scientist or a researcher or a programmer – who works 18 hours a day is forcefully put down in the list of “unhappy ones”. But can’t it be that he enjoys his work and he has chosen to spend majority of his time into doing what he likes the most. They all find the same happiness doing their work which you might find dancing or skydiving or partying with friends.
When you try to force a Chathur become like Rancho, he won’t be happy. You don’t need to stand at the front of the Titanic to show the world that you are the King of the world. You can do that by running your code with zero errors too. You don’t have to go on a world tour to find happiness; you can find the same happiness in reading Harry Potter too. You don’t need to drink on a Friday night to be happy; a worry-less 8-hour sleep in the comfort of your air-conditioned room is fine too.
Don’t try to fit everyone in the societal definition of happiness. It will make them feel exhausted pretending to enjoy what you do. You think you are trying to help them. But, eventually, you will end up making those happy souls- depressed.
-Arjuna@War (Parth Shah)