What is happiness? | Helpful Mum

Monday, 30 April 2012

What is happiness?

What is happiness? What does it mean to you? Where do you find it? How do you use it?

Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher said that happiness is gaining power and that we are driven by "a perpetual and restless desire of power after power'. Now, whilst Hobbes is indeed an incredibly intelligent man, I cannot agree with this statement.

In my mind, happiness can be derived from a plethora of sources, the vast majority of them absolutely nothing to do with gaining power. 

For example, some things which give me great pleasure are:
My children
My husband
My family
Hugs
Kisses
Support (emotional, physical, financial)
Lambs
Crows walking (seriously, watch them, it's hilarious)

Some forms of happiness we take for granted. I know that I am guilty of this. My husband for one should be awarded a huge 'I'm taken for granted' medal. If it were not for him, I would not be the person I am today. Fact. He made me realise so many things about myself and my abilities. I wouldn't have even considered going to university because I would not have believed I was clever enough. Yet here I am, at a top 10 university, doing well (ish). So thank you for being utterly brilliant! Your medal's in the post.

Thomas Hobbes also got me thinking about how we use happiness. I know that might sound wrong, but surely we must be able to use happiness to create more happiness. Even something as simple as smiling at a stranger in the street could pass on your happiness to another, or a gift, or even a hug. 

What do you think? What makes you happy and do you think happiness can be used to create more happiness?
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