Author: Anonymous, TCU Student, Fall 2014
I believe in happiness. I believe that there are so many different ways to be happy. Throughout my life so far there have been significant influences that have made me think this. The three biggest influences are the movie Happy, travel, and my experiences with my family.
I first saw Happy two years ago. This is a documentary focused on looking at people across the world and what makes them happy. As well as looking at how love comes more naturally to humans than war and hate. It was originally extra credit for one of my classes that I was taking at the time. This movie examines how love and compassion come more naturally to people than hate does. It looks at what people in different countries and cultures think make a person happy; as well as, looking at their overall happiness levels. Throughout this movie they look at cultures all around the world, while everyone has their own idea of what will make them happy. This had a significant impact on me because before seeing this movie I always though that violence was a more powerful driving force in the world. However, after Happy I started looking at the world and how I thought about things differently.
The next greatest influence for me was having the opportunity to travel and live in different areas of the world. It is quite evident in other cultures that, while they do not have the resources that we have, they appreciate what they have. The biggest difference that I see between Western culture and many Eastern cultures is that Western cultures puts a greater emphasis on things where as with many Eastern cultures they may live in shack with a few possession but feel like they are very rich because they have family and friends to spend time with. Likewise, it is interesting that in our culture we expect people to be happy all the time. For me seeing how other people in many different cultures have found happiness has helped me develop and learn what makes me happy.
Lastly, I have seen my sister find happiness depression. This is probably the greatest driving force that has shaped my view and understanding of happiness. My sister is younger but for the past few years I have gone through the battle of depression with her and watched her become healthy again and seen her make her own happiness even on her worst days.
These aspects have shaped how I view happiness and how I think about it. While I believe being happy and finding happiness is important I also realize that being happy all the time is impractical. I believe that being happy is important because if someone cannot find things in their life that makes them happy and enjoy life then that makes life more difficult, as I have experienced with my sister. For me what is important is finding what makes you happy no matter what our resources or life circumstance is.