(Click on link for happiness)
For most of my childhood those three deep bass notes indicated another gentleman becoming resigned to his inevitable fate whilst delving into a mild cigar.
The world was simpler on television then, everything could be faced if you could just spark up a stick of tobacco.
It is right that we will send and receive many expressions of this sentiment in the next few hours. As humans we want to enjoy happiness and desire that our friends and relatives also enjoy the same. The previous 12 months may have been ridiculously happy for you, they may not!
Over the past year I have communicated with many people and come to see on Instagram what makes people happy. For some it is solitude atop a mountain or on a lonely forest path. Others love crowds at concerts or in city centres, some capture people while I like so many avoid people in my photos.
There are those who project a version of happiness that requires considerable sums of money. Others find happiness in their pets or children, for some it is cars, holidays and beaches.
Truthfully, it is all extremely subjective!
Personally, happiness is an elusive prey a lot of the time. For me it changes from week to week, day to day and the source is seldom the same twice. That said, I do have happy places that I can go to either in person or just mentally to restore calm.
While I truly welcome all the kind messages and will undoubtedly reciprocate them (and truly mean it) I do wonder if happiness is the pinnacle of my attainment as a person?
Countless generations preceding ours did not focus on happiness the way that we do to this obsessive extent.
As I sit in my comfortable sofa, with degree perfect control over my room temperature and access to the entire world on a device that is smaller than a papyrus, am I truly happier than a first century fisherman who spent his days focussed only on his next catch?
The same human ills beset both of us. I have the advantage of ease, access to medicine that he could never even dream of and a level of everything that he neither desired nor yearned for.
I can see instantly what’s happening anywhere people have phones, but am I the better for it? Absolutely not!
This year has been one of my worst (so far) mentally and without serious determined change nothing is likely to improve.
This morning at church the topic was ‘change,’ traditionally new year is when people decide what to change going forward and seldom last beyond January’s long dark days.
Happiness is not found only in change, but it may just be found in the results of small changes.
I suppose what is going through my mind is simply this…..I wish you happiness, I cannot legislate what brings it. Money may or may not, health may not, marriage may not, kids may not, a million other things may not bring it to you that would work for me.
Ultimately I ask myself, is happiness a goal in and of itself or is it rather a choice that I make regardless of circumstance. That is easy for me to write, not necessarily so easy to live!
HAPPY NEW YEAR