I was out having dinner with my friend, Norman, and he couldn’t help but notice the uplifted countenance of our server. Unable to help himself, he asked, “Why are you so happy?”
Somewhat surprised the he’d even notice, the server smiled and told us about her painting she had entered in the State Fair and that she’d just received a text on her phone that she’d won first place in her division.
Her exuberance was apparent. I remembered a song we used to sing with the kids that went like, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…” No hand clapping was needed here. You could tell she was happy.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you can pretty much tell when anyone is really happy, even if they’re trying to conceal it, you can just tell.
So what makes people happy?
Good news, like hearing that you’ve just won an award for your artwork, would certainly make you happy, Even if you were depressed moments before, good news can fire up you happiness hormones and usher you into joy in a heartbeat.
Ever know someone who was happy all the time?
I know it’s harder to come by these days, but most everyone knows someone who is disgustingly perpetually happy. You probably think to yourself, “No one could really be that happy,” assuming that they must be faking it, have something to hide or are full of crap; all reasonable thoughts for a person who finds it difficult to maintain a high level of joy for very long.
Now, ask one of these annoying happy people the same question, “Why are you so happy?”
They’re likely to go on and on about how the whole world is comprised of beauty, kindness, benevolence and goodness… enough to make you think that either they’ve taken some amazing illicit hallucinogen or simply lost any sense of reality and their mind to boot.
They are also likely to be thinking about all the good things in life they are anticipating, as well as what they are doing to move themselves closer to the things they truly desire for themselves or their loved ones. How could they not be happy, thinking thoughts, like those?
You might walk away, shaking your head, thinking this person might be better off suited for a straight jacket.
Nonetheless, they aren’t hurting anyone – if anything, just the opposite – their positive and outlook directed at the right person at the right time might just save a life, or in some small way make the world a better place. The cumulative effect of happy people, like these, can have enormous impact on the planet and its peoples.
Yes, you think, but what about all the pain, violence, poverty, injustice, etc…?
The people who are happy likely know about and acknowledge all the evils of the world but choose to focus instead on all the good things of the world. For every bad thought you could think, there is a good one that you could choose to spend your time dwelling on instead.
One thing for certain: Bad thoughts make you feel bad and good thoughts make you feel good.
So, when it comes down to it, happiness is a choice.
And if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.