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In Defense of Happiness November 6, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Mindfulness, Word Play.

Counsel, please proceed with closing argument . . .

Thank you, your honor.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the fate of Happiness lies in your  hands.  

You must decide, after weighing the evidence, whether Happiness will continue to exist . . . or vanish without a trace.   

WP commenced this suit, saying:

You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace.

When I read this Daily Prompt, my thoughts turned in several directions at once.

Food sprang to mind ~ pizza, chocolate, fresh-baked bread.  Eating is a supreme pleasure.  I wouldn’t want to live in a world where my favorite foods vanished without a trace.  But I could.  I just wouldn’t be as happy.

My thoughts turned to my husband and our cat Tigger.  And to other loved ones. 

Parting with friends and family is heart-wrenching.  But we rebound. 

Broken hearts heal.  

Sorrow is the price we pay for joy.

Music flowed into my thoughts ~ jazz, rock, new age, classical, the blues.  A world without music would be stark.  But I could keep breathing without notes to accompany each inhalation.  Less joyous, yes.  But I would survive.

I envisioned walks on the beach, watching waves rushing to and fro.  And wandering through favorite parks to enjoy wildflowers and songbirds and clouds floating across azure skies. 

Life without nature would be dismal and gray, but I could exist in a room. 

Even one without a view.

The goal behind all goals is Happiness.  We desire what we believe will bring us Happiness.  We form relationships in pursuit of Happiness. 

Food, people, music, nature . . . these textural elements add delight to life.  Without them, our Happiness would diminish in large measure. 

But without Happiness, none of them would have meaning at all.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?

We have your honor.

How do you find?

We, the jury, find in favor of Happiness. 

Aah . . . that’s better!

* * * * *

Susanna posted the 8 Finalists from the Halloweensie Contest this morning . . .  and I’m in the running! 

If you want to vote, click this link and Vote for your Favorite! 

They’re all in one place . . . so it’s one stop shopping.  No clicking back and forth between blogs.  Simple, right?  Bet that makes you happy.  😉


1. Hudson Howl - November 6, 2012

Do you think being happy and happiness are the same thing?

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Yes, I do. Although lasting happiness, or peace of mind, is not tied to external events. It is not what is happening around you, but what is happening within you, that matters.

Asking the question, will this thought bring me happiness, whenever we are facing a choice about how to view a situation, provides necessary clarity. It shifts the focus from what we are denying ourselves (i.e., the “luxury” of being upset over some minor incident or infraction) to what we are giving ourselves (peace of mind and serenity).

2. diannegray - November 6, 2012

This is wonderful – I vote for happiness too! I can’t imagine living in a world of sadness.

This is great response to the prompt 😉

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Thanks, Dianne. I agree. Our mental state has a tremendous influence on how we experience our daily life. The greater our peace of mind, the greater our ability to enjoy a happy, joy-filled life.

By re-training the mind, we can transform our entire outlook on life, and our approach to living, in a way that adds to the daily happiness in our lives, even if nothing in our external situation changes.

The way to greater happiness and peace of mind is basic, just three steps:

1. Identify factors leading to happiness, and those leading to suffering.
2. Eliminate those that lead to suffering.
3. Cultivate those that lead to happiness.

Easy, right? The process is simple. But, to master the technique, we must practice, practice, practice.

diannegray - November 6, 2012

I’m doing this at the moment. I just left my job and am going back to live in the country 😀

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Good for you! Some would say, wherever you go, there you are. While I agree, I also believe that the environment around us either adds to or detracts from our happiness setpoint.

I know that my happiness would take a nosedive if I had to live in a busy city. I much prefer the beach.

3. ryoko861 - November 6, 2012

Nan, which one is yours?

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Mine is #7 ~ Halloween Drives Me Batty . . . but vote for YOUR favorite, even if it’s not mine. 😀

4. jannatwrites - November 6, 2012

Hmmm….I didn’t see a 70-inch TV in your list…or an iPad…or a new car gifted to you buy your adoring BFF…wait a second. Are you telling me that all these commercials have been lying to me???

Seriously, though, I agree that we could live without our family, friends, music, pets, nature, etc., but life wouldn’t be as full as it is with them.

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Life would be dismal if all those things went MIA at once. But if just one when missing, I could manage.

And since WP asked us to defend Just One Thing, choosing Happiness seemed to cover ALL the bases. 😉

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

And, yeah, those commericals . . . all lies! 🙄

5. sweetdaysundertheoaks - November 7, 2012

Nancy I remember early when I was first getting to know you, first reading Spirit Lights the Way and I was telling you about my anxiety and worry and you suggested a book for me to read. Even before I started the book, back in February you told me that we deserve to be happy. Please correct me if I have misquoted you. I suddenly realized when you said that, that it is OK to be happy. We truly deserve happiness while we are here on earth. Why would we want to be anything else. I realized I was choosing to be anxious and unhappy. So it doesn’t surprise me that you selected happy as your favorite thing. I just wanted to tell you it made me happy to read this post! Off to follow your link for the contest.. 🙂

nrhatch - November 7, 2012

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! This comment made ME happy. I love it when people realize that it is OK to be happy . . . even in the middle of sad events. It’s a choice we make on a moment by moment basis.

There is only one way to Be Happy . . . choose Happiness. 😀

6. sufilight - November 7, 2012

Whew, I am glad you put your skills as lawyer and made sure that happiness won! A world without happiness would not have supported all that we have created in the pursuit of happiness.

nrhatch - November 7, 2012

Thanks, Marie. Tracing life pleasures back to the source convinces me that pleasures have value because they facilitate our ability to access our inner core of Happiness and Peace.

If inner peace and happiness didn’t surface, who would watch a sunrise or sunset? Who would admire a flower? Who would watch the clouds roll by? Who would adopt a messy puppy or kitten into their home?

No happiness. No peace.
Know happiness. Know peace. 😀

7. Andra Watkins - November 7, 2012

Happiness is a thing to just be. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out.

nrhatch - November 7, 2012

I expect it’s because of all the marketing and advertising that tries to convince us that Happiness is having two sinks in the master bath, or two cars in the garage, or 2-karat diamonds on our fingers.

In time, if we’re mindful, we realize that happiness is never in THINGS, it is in US.

8. Three Well Beings - November 7, 2012

This is such a deeply thoughtful post, Nancy. I do think that I am a very happy person, but I also know how much of what you described is tied to that happiness. And that’s fine, but there is that question about what would I be like if I lost any one of those things. And as I get older and move into new stages of my life, it is likely there will be much loss–if I only look at it that way. I know that for me it isn’t about “things”–at least not too much so–but I don’t want to be too cocky on this subject. I think I have more growth to do to be happy just because…

nrhatch - November 7, 2012

Good thoughts, Debra. I agree. The more we look “out there” to find happiness, the more elusive it becomes, because happiness for a reason, any reason, can always be taken away.

It is happiness for “no reason” that we want to cultivate.

9. Pocket Perspectives - November 7, 2012

: ) “happy for no reason”…but being sure to plant flowers, pull weeds along the way. (and Nancy, you sure planted some special seeds for sweetdaysundertheoaks…what a wonderful impact you had. : )
(do you remember what book you had recommended?)

nrhatch - November 7, 2012

Yes, I believe it was Zen and the Art of Happiness.


nrhatch - November 8, 2012

On further reflection, I believe it was “Zen Living for Dummies” or “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zen Living.”


Pocket Perspectives - November 8, 2012

thanks Nancy…I added it to my amazon wish list.

nrhatch - November 8, 2012

The more Zen I become . . . the happier I be! 😀

10. nrhatch - November 8, 2012

An interesting quote by C. Terry Warner, Bonds That Make Us Free:

“Happiness. . . is more like a decision than a condition. It is a decision anyone can make, anywhere, and at any time. For it is not the enjoyableness of objects or activities or opportunities that makes us happy or unhappy; rather, our happiness, rooted in our relationships, makes objects and activities enjoyable. Things, events, and opportunities have no value in and of themselves; they get their value from the significant part they play in our key relationships with others.” (p. 54).

11. applepieandnapalm - November 8, 2012

As always, this was a lovely post. I strive for pure happiness and I appreciate your thoughts.

nrhatch - November 8, 2012

Thanks, applepie. Happiness for no reason is pure and simple, as long as we remember to tune in and access it.

applepieandnapalm - November 8, 2012

I have happy moments that I embrace, but I am still working toward natural happiness, instead of forced happiness. Big difference, but I’m trying.

nrhatch - November 8, 2012

Even synthetic, fake, and forced happiness is good for us. I’ll get you a link in a minute.

nrhatch - November 8, 2012
applepieandnapalm - November 8, 2012

Fantastic piece, thank you. It’s another solid piece to absorb in my journey to make the pieces of me all fit together.

12. nrhatch - November 8, 2012

Here’s a TED talk on the subject:

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