What Is Happiness and Why Is It Important?

Happiness

OUTLINE:

  1. It is very difficult to give a proper definition of happiness. Happiness is the name of a mental and spiritual condition.
  2. Happiness is the chief end of man’s life in this world.
  3. There are a number of factors which play an important part in making us happy or unhappy.
  4. Health of body and mind is an important condition of happiness.
  5. Wealth and material means another factor responsible for human happiness.
  6. Real happiness comes out of contentment and peace of mind.

It is difficult to give a convincing definition of happiness. It is a thing to be felt or experienced but which cannot be explained or reasoned out. If we ask a happy man how he feels, he may not be able to make us understand. However, happiness is the name of a mental and spiritual condition. It is not anything material which can be seen adding to man’s weight, volume or outward appearance. Only this much can be said that a happy man is he who is perfectly satisfied with his life and seems to be enjoying everything.

Happiness is the chief end of man’s life in this world. Everybody likes to be as happy as possible. All of our efforts are directed to achieve this goal. Whatever we do is aimed at making us happier than we are. Inspite of that nobody is really and perfectly happy in this world. This is because happiness is not an apple that we can peel and cut. There are a number of factors which play an important part in making us happy or unhappy.

Our happiness depends so much on circumstances beyond our control that it is not possible for any man on Earth to be perfectly happy. For example, health of body and mind is an important condition of happiness. A man may be extremely wealthy, have all the comforts and luxuries of life at his command, but if he is suffering from any disease, he cannot enjoy any blessing of life and remains dissatisfied amidst plenty.  Mental and physical sufferings are the common lot of all of us and usually keep us unhappy.

Wealth and material means are other factors another factor responsible for human happiness. A poor man may enjoy good health but he may have nothing to feed his starving children. Even a satisfied person may be unhappy on account of the unhappiness of other people living around him. Even if we ourselves are satisfied with life, the sorrows and miseries of our relatives and friends influence us and make us unhappy. It was this that made Sophocles says “No man should be called happy till he is dead”.

In this age of material advancement money means everything. People worship the god of wealth and give it all importance. Poor people always think that a rich man is very happy in this world. He can buy all the facilities of life and can enjoy all the comforts and luxuries of life. But this is only a delusion. A rich man is not necessarily a happy man. Riches and material mean of well-being do not constitute happiness. A rich man can buy everything except happiness. Many times, it so happens that a rich man is fed up with his life and commits suicide.

As a matter of fact, wealth and happiness seldom go hand in hand. When wealth comes to man, it brings new worries and difficulties for him. People feel jealous of him and try to harm, steal or rob him. He has to remain vigilant all the times. This spoils his freedom and peace of mind. Loss of wealth in any way is a great shock to man, and such shocks always come to rich men only. Rich people generally feel envious of the poor who have nothing to lose and enjoy sound sleep.

Real happiness comes out of contentment and peace of mind. But a rich man can never be contended. It is only a life of simplicity and contentment which can bestow happiness on us.

Credits: Hina Hassan

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