So the other day after meeting Happy Doggy, I found this quote:
It struck me as both extremely odd but very accurate.
So let’s look at the part that’s odd first… namely how we define a “rule”:
1. one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere.
“the rules of the game were understood”
synonyms: regulation, ruling, directive, order, act, law, statute, edict, canon, mandate, command, dictate, decree, fiat, injunction, commandment, stipulation, requirement, guideline, direction; formalordinance
“health and safety rules”
Happiness is such a subjective and ethereal concept… can it exist under such strict governing regulation? Now don’t get me wrong… I believe that happiness does in fact exist. I even know a happiness expert that can verify its existence… but are there truly “rules” that govern its existence in your (or more specifically my) life. It’s this hard line of regulation that seems so odd to me in a subject that should be soft and maleable.
Something to do – In my experience there’s always something to do. It could be the dishes, the laundry, watching a movie, or even working a 16-hour shift in the sewage treatment plant. How does having something to do bring about happiness? Is it because it helps to fulfill and internal sense of purpose or is it to distract the mind away from things that would, well, make you unhappy? If it read “Something to do that you love” or “Something to do that fulfills you“, well okay, that makes a little more sense and provides a bit more regulation to the rule… but that’s not what it said.
Someone to love – Depending on the situation having someone to love can be a fantastic experience or a horrendous nightmare. There is fantastic reward when it goes right, but the damage when it goes wrong can sometimes be a mortal wound to your emotional and mental well being lasting a lifetime. I think a much better substitute would be “To be loved by someone” because it at least lowers the risk factor to a somewhat more acceptable level. Otherwise the level that can backfire on you can be darn near apocalyptic.
Something to hope for – Hope… again a very risky proposition. Someone once told me that they have zero expectations so that they aren’t disappointed. I can completely understand that, because to be disappointed is a terrible feeling indeed… but I can’t help but feel that is an absolutely miserable existence. Still, there are a lot of things I can hope for that won’t be materializing and therefore I will feel nothing but disappointment if I did. If instead it read “Something to realistically hope for” or maybe even “Someone to realistically hope for” then I could be more onboard with it. I think I should specifically point out that when I say “Someone“, I mean for “Something” to happen to “Someone” that is hopefully a positive thing. I find it easier to have hope for other people… hope that they get what they want, that they succeed in their endeavors, or hope that they just get better.
The thing is… I can see how having those three things, being the three right things, can help to create happiness… but I don’t think those are the ONLY things that will help create happiness. I don’t think those are rules per se… but perhaps more of a guideline.
Kind of like protocol.
It’s a guideline people.
Stop strapping ninety-year olds to backboards after they crash into the shelves at the grocery store with their motorized scooter.