Happiness In America 1n 2015

What does it take to be happy in America in 2015? What makes YOU happy? Are you and your friends mostly happy or unhappy? Happiness to me is a warm, fuzzy feeling, hard to define in exact precise words, in a clinical factual way, because happiness is an emotion, and it is by nature a feeling, not a set of  facts that can be broken down, spelled out or otherwise defined and delineated….But I know when I am happy, and since nobody is happy all the time, I definitely know when I am unhappy too!

As I stated in yesterday’s blog, physical health and well being is the major component of being happy…You can have all the money in the world but if you or a loved one have some fatal disease, you will certainly not be happy…I think true happiness, while it springs from inside ourselves, needs other people to validate the emotion…In other words, I am most happy when I feel loved….I think most people feel this way, the warmth, love and loyalty of a close family or a tightly knit circle of caring friends makes most of us happy…

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That is it! It’s that simple! That is the big secret! You don’t need a fancy, late model car to be happy….You don’t need to be living in the lap of luxury in some stately seaside or mountain top mansion to be happy….You don’t really need the latest tech toys, gadgets and gizmos, like the latest model cell phone or the hottest new video game or the tablets and I pads and Apple smart wristwatches to be happy….You don’t need to have the best job in the world to be happy…As the Beatles sang it so well, in the Summer of Love in 1967. “All You Need Is Love!”……

Love is truly what makes the world go around….What a cold sterile place life one earth must be without love, and what all these maladjusted dictators and political power seekers and religious zealots and mass murderers are obviously suffering from is a deep and profound lack of love in their lives, either as infants when they needed it most, or growing up,  or right now; they are simply put, NOT happy people! I feel so sorry for them, because they are living hell on earth….You need love to be happy, and it is just that simple…: “All You Need is Love!”

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Most Americans are very busy people, we work long hours, more than people in other countries… The two income earner family is almost a requirement for economic success, and we are a nation of multi taskers, soccer moms and little league coaches and school kids who babysit to make money on top of our daily work/school requirements….

But we are at our happiest when we get together with our extended families to celebrate the traditional holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, all convenient excuses to band together and fire up the old BBQ in the back yard or the turkey in the oven and catch up with each other…..This is especially true of older people with large families spread out all over, these traditional holidays are sometimes our only chance to reconnect, to gossip, to catch up on all the latest family news, and a multi generational mini family reunion on the major holidays cements the bonds of love and promotes happiness more than anything else…

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Multi Generation Family Having Barbeque On Winter Beach

Family Celebrating Grandmother's Birthday February 25, 2004

Younger single people have an insatiable, biological hard wired drive and urge to merge and mingle with each other, so they go out to clubs and bars and parties on the weekends all the time…They prefer to socialize with each other, because they have so much in common, they speak the same language, know all the right bands, follow all the right trends and wear the latest fashions, but that is OK because it is what makes them happy…They are not alone or loners, they are surrounded by like thinking people who have the same value system as they do; they care for each other, and they are happy….

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But I think the happiest people of all, more than the established older people who have mostly already done everything with their lives that they are going to do , the ones like me who have done this and seen that and been there etc, and the young single people on the prowl for that perfect hookup or soul mate, are the slightly older married people with children…Family life is the cornerstone of American society, and nothing makes most Americans happier than being around their children and watching them grow up……..

Daily family life at home, safe and secure away from the hassles and travails of work world, safe and secure in our own nests, as it were, watching the children grow from new born babies into infants and toddlers and then going off to kindergarten and getting into grade school are I think the happiest times of most people’s lives…

If it’s not in your life now, you should make it a priority to make it so, because these are the golden years, you are old enough to know better and young enough to enjoy each others company, and a strong supportive bond between parents, whether in traditional marriages, living together or as life partners is not only a perk you can only enjoy when you are young and raising your family, it is also setting a good example for your children, to know that they are loved, to know what love is…

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happy22familysoldierreunionAfrican American happy family: black father, mom and baby boy on nature. Use it for a child, parenting or love concept

Love is something elusive to define, not quite tangible but very real none the less, and when you have it, you are happy…It can be the smallest thing, like watching TV together with your significant other, sharing a meal at a family restaurant, going to the park on the weekends or just praising your children for their latest school project, all these little manifestations of love on a daily basis are the basis of happiness….

So if you are lucky enough to be a still young couple raising your children, congratulations! The bills will come and the bills will go, (it’s only money),there will be sickness and injury sometimes, (nobody’s life is perfect), there will be setbacks and triumphs in work world, (which will be forgotten almost as soon as they occur), but the one constant, the glue that holds your family together is the love you share with each other, the love that is true and unselfish and real, that will in the end make you happy...

It is your choice to be happy or not, but the key to happiness is love, and love and happiness are inextricably intertwined, you can’t have one without the other…..It’s like that reggae song by Bobby McFerrin; “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

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