While cleaning up the remnants left strewn throughout the otherwise vacant house I once called home, I was posed with a rather interesting question. The kind that makes one say hmmm before they offer an educated guess or make a jovial attempt to evade. I was standing over a garbage bag and a cardboard box trying to decide where to put the half empty tube of Sponge Bob-fruity flavored toothpaste (cap missing) when the young man who was helping me, popped this philosophical question;
“What is your definition of happiness?”
I smoothed out the contorted tube of anti-cavity Sponge paste and starred at Bob’s picture in all his happy-ass glory. It was as if old Square-butt was laughing at me. So, I tossed him into what I deemed the appropriate receptacle, allowed the hmmm to form what I thought was a response worthy of such an intellectual question and said this:
“I think that happiness is the absence of life’s recurring inconveniences…. How we react to these inevitable trivialities determines the length and frequency of our suffrage’s.”
Say for instance, you are waiting for an elevator. The bell bings, the door opens and out walks a heavy set man who goes about his way. You step in; select your floor and the door closes when you suddenly realize something is wrong. That man just left you a little present. Your nostril cavities begin to fill with the rancid aroma of a wet, stinky fart. As if the man had feasted on a Thanksgiving Dinner the night before, complete with candied yams and pumpkin pie. You start to gag as you spill your triple mocha latte which burns your hand causing your reflexes to send the cup of hot brew crashing to the floor. “Shit!” you yell, right before you throw up into your mouth…just enough to puff your cheeks, then sending a slurry of banana and rice crispy vomit spewing out of the elevator door that just begins to open. You jump through the opportunity, crashing head on into the girl from HR.
Inconvenienced, yes. Pissed… probably.
There is an array of reactions that can influence your mindset throughout the rest of your day; mirroring your facial expressions.
You can choose to continue on with your day, choking on ass vapor, or you can exhale it gracefully and chock it up as a fluke of nature, smiling all the way.
You can start pointing blame or you can offer your sincere apology to the innocent bystander whose own reaction, will affect yours.
Your reaction can become a paradox, which affects not only your future happiness, but the people encircled in your matrix. “Gee…I see Bob is really pissed that I’m happy, and now I’m not as happy because I pissed off Bob on my way to becoming happy.”
Now yeah, I know…much has been written, pondered, contemplated, studied in labs using rats, argued, and agreed upon about happiness throughout the ages…but…there comes a time in life when one day we wake up and gradually realize what our own definition of happiness is. This is mine…and it makes me happy that I have found it.
Now there are plenty of circumstances where getting really pissed (unhappy) is justified. Say, for instance, I jump out of a plane and my parachute doesn’t deploy, I’d be pissed as hell, especially after I shit myself.
All I’m saying is that I’ve come to realize that by learning not to sweat the small stuff will condition us to better handle the bigger issues in life like, illness, death and taxes, all which we will inevitably experience at some point.
So the time in which our lives are void of these seemingly problematic inconveniences, we tend to experience happiness. How we go about solving or eliminating them when they arise, can prolong the misery, anger, finger pointing or it can bring us back to the happy state we strive everyday to achieve.