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What is it to be happy

Something that makes me happy
Something that makes me happy
Martin Nelson

While this author was seeking issues of concern for this article, the prominent story is a Nevada rancher, and his tax anxieties. After researching, the entire story was just too nauseating to discuss: the poor Nevada rancher owes the IRS 1.1 million dollars (an accumulation since 1993) and is losing his farm; however, “Al Sharpton Owes IRS $2.6 Million”. The irony here is that the rancher is labeled as a ‘racist’ while Al is given awards. The writer is confused as to what ‘Equal Rights’ really means.

Our ‘Equal Rights’ are being defined by the media, and it is horrible to have the media manipulate the facets and foundations of life. So, setting the news - this news is just too revolting to discuss - aside, what can I write? Revolting news makes me unhappy; so, I reckon that it’s a question of what makes me happy, and ultimately, it is a question of what happiness is.

Happiness may be abstract or concrete. Psychologist Ed Diener states: “as a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotions than negative emotions.” Martin Seligman “describes happiness as having three parts: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. Pleasure is the ‘feel good’ part of happiness. Engagement refers to living a ‘good life’ of work, family, friends, and hobbies. Meaning refers to using our strengths to contribute to a larger purpose. Seligman says that all three are important, but that of the three, engagement and meaning make the most difference to living a happy life.” Interestingly, according to the media, Matthieu Ricard who lives at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal is the "happiest person in the world".

Happiness in the Bible is frequently expressed with the word ‘blessed’. According to Brown-Driver-Briggs, the great Hebrew dictionary, ‘blessed’ equates to ‘adorn on bended knee.’ However, ‘blessed’ is translated as ‘happiness’ by the Greek translation of the Old Testament. In the Bible, we find that God blessed creation with sex, blessed the Sabbath (Saturday), and blesses man (mankind). It appears from this brief glance that happiness has to do with relationships. And indeed, Time Magazine declares relationships to be necessary for happiness.

Granted, in this life – this mortality (physical existence) – happiness is designated by some chemical reaction within us. We feel happy because of some type of chemical event. Someday, the physical (set of chemicals that make us up) will disappear, and we will have only concrete happiness and no abstract happiness.