What Defines Being Happy?

 

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We all have them, good days and bad days. Do we let those particular days define us? We shouldn’t. Everyone has a bad day now and again whether it;s work relatd or personal. The same goes for what we would define as a good day. Mainly, I think, we are all in the middle; Meaning we’re not overly happy nor are we sad. We can be happy without those highs and lows.

I’ve often be asked by my friends that know I am an atheist if I’m happy. Why wouldn’t I be is my non-verbal response. My response to the questioner directly is that I am as happy as the next person. Usually that would be enough to staunch that conversation but for some, being as happy as any other person, as an atheist, doesn’t seem to be enough. That’s okay because to most people we know, we’re different and of course having basic human norms seem odd to those that are unfamiliar with what atheism actually describes.

I never take offense, but I have known some that do. I can understand not being considered a normal human being, based simply on a non-belief in god(s), but I’ve long left that behind. It’s common in my experience and until someone that knows I’m an atheist actually gets to know me, it seems to be just a problem of perception, based on an indoctrination received.

Why is it that some believe that atheists are generally sad, even angry? I think it has to do with the negativity associated with atheism. I’m not opposed to the idea that there aren’t atheists that are sad or even angry, in the same way I think that there are believers, some, that are the same. I have no idea how to label it, maybe just the human condition that dictates who we are. Is it so strange that there may be a person that is seen as usually happy, that for some reason becomes sad and sullen? I’m fairly certain, at least in my own experience, that it’s not unusual. In fact, I’d be suspicious, (cynical?) of anyone that didn’t have an occasional bad day. I would consider that person a psychopath.

I think that most people are content with their lives. Certainly there are events that would be described as happy like a marriage, a birth of a child even , stay with me, a divorce.People have different views as to what they consider as being happy. Personally, I was happy when my divorce went through, Most people may be sad, but in my case, I was in an unhappy marriage for a few years and the best thing for both of us was to go our own way. There was a time, before that, when friends were divorced that I thought it must be devastating. It isn;’tand wasn’t .

What constitutes  happiness? I have no idea but I would posit that there are events in everyone’s life that become something greater. I think that most people are content with the lives. That doesn’t mean anything in the larger context, and has nothing to do with the psychological makeup. It’s the consequence, at least in my opinion, of being human, We can say that a person is happier than we are but do we really know that? I don’t think so.

We can look at different groups of people, attempting to define that ever deceitful word, happiness, and every paper, every word we read, will somehow define it differently. I don;y require anyone to tell me whether or not I’m happy, or sad. I decline the opportunity to be exploited by those that make their living  determining who I am and how I should feel.

So should you.

 

5 thoughts on “What Defines Being Happy?

  1. Good read.
    My version of happiness is my wonderful, sweet wife. She gives me joy and purpose. And she is the real thing.
    She is Roman Catholic where of course I’m an atheist. Sounds like the fox and the hound right? But its not. We do not judge each other’s moral or intellectual capacity based on a belief or non belief. We do not have heated debates about the non existance or existance of a god. I do not insist she stop believing in her God nor is she trying to drag me into church.We place a higher value on each other’s character and our love and respect for one another out weighs our view’s on the supernatural. Happiness for me, is true love. And thats exactly what we have. I love her for her and she loves me for me. God or no god.

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  2. I have had Christians exclaim to me that they don’t know how I can get out of bed in the morning. They have been fed a load of b.s. concerning atheists. Atheists are miserable and without a moral compass. Atheists cannot love anyone, because they have no love in their hearts. Atheists believe in nothing and therefore will fall for anything. Atheists can’t handle life, because they don’t have the love of God, which means that they become drunkards and drug addicts in order to cope.

    No, we certainly cannot be happy or joyous. The normal and abnormal peaks and valleys of mood swings are obviously caused by the whispering of demons, against which atheists have no shield. Certainly mental illnesses and clinical depression are caused by demon possession, which can only be cured by being saved through Jesus.

    Truly amazing stuff to swallow, but I guess not if you don’t think you know any atheists and are just thinking what religious leaders and scripture are telling you to think.

    Some days I am supremely happy, but most days I am just here and there, taking moments of happy, sad, worried, angry as they come along. Occasionally, I slip a bit further down the valley and treat myself gently, knowing that this will pass.

    Pretty much the same as when I was a Christian…

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