The Happiness Concept
In Joanna Goddard's blog, she re-posted this insight on happiness by Hugh MacKay. I just remembered Robin Williams when I was reading this and thought this is worth sharing :)
"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don't mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness.
It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying "write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep" and "cheer up" and "happiness is our birthright" and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, "Quick! Move on! Cheer up!" I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word "happiness" and to replace it with the word "wholeness." Ask yourself, "Is this contributing to my wholeness?" and if you're having a bad day, it is."
—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life
MacKay does have a point, right? The goal is to pursue wholeness, not just happiness. Sadness has taken a bad rep for centuries, so I guess it's about time that we embrace it fully because the challenging parts are what make us grow.
Sayang (what is this in English? Too bad? It's a waste?) was my initial thought when I learned that Williams died because of suicide.
Having Mackay attacked the concept of happiness was a good reminder that the happy and sad parts of life all play a part -- and that both can be used as platforms for God's glory. :)
Don't be sad, sad face! You're just as important! ;)