A lot of people seem to think it’s impressive to be sad, like having adversity in our lives makes us distinguished. We fear being looked at as privileged. Privilege makes us look void of character. We believe the people who have nothing are deeper, richer souls. So, in order not to look vapid, we focus on our hardships.
Everyone, no matter how rich or privileged, has troubles. These troubles make us stronger people, they build our character, they do all the things we think they do, except give us distinction from the other people around us. Because, again, everyone has troubles.
Part of being human is dealing with hardships. Humans will always feel pain and suffering, caused by others or just the forces of nature. Experiencing this builds our humanity, makes us relatable, and develops our wisdom. It’s great, wonderful, fantabulous if you’ve went through something that did this for you. But it’s not impressive. Not necessarily.
It’s not impressive to be sad. It’s not impressive to merely have these hardships. It’s certainly not impressive to dwell on them. Never flaunt your troubles like they’re justifications for you being or feeling a certain way, because they’re not.
What’s impressive is being happy.
It’s far more rare to see genuinely happy people in this world than it is to see mopey, self-possessed, dwelling people. When I see a down-to-earth, modest, happy person, I’m impressed. I think, “Wow, that person seems comfortable with herself. She seems to have found peace in her life.” I don’t think, “Wow, that person has never experienced heartache and so must have no substance whatsoever.”
I don’t think that, because to be happy, you need to have experienced heartache. To have one extreme, you need to have known what the other feels like. The key to happiness, however, is letting it go. Stop dwelling. Stop thinking your problems are the reasons for your unhappiness. You are the reason for your unhappiness.
Everyone has troubles. Some people are genuinely happy despite them. Start being that today.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/10743406565/”>symphony of love</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>