Why I never say “He/She shouldn’t be unhappy”

Happiness is often elusive. It is something that we orient all of our goals towards. Yet, so often it is purported so assuredly that a certain list of possessions or circumstances can attain happiness. Such as having a nice house, car, job, and family.

Whenever I hear someone say, “They have no right to be sad, glum, etc” I shake my head. If a person’s right to express (or even have) an emotion is dependent on the degree to which they have more, then essentially everyone in the United States loses this right.

There is always someone that is suffering more. The same co-worker who claimed that HE/SHE is the one who has the right to complain because he has two jobs and three kids falls short in relation to the person who has zero jobs and four kids, or even more to the suffering of people in third world countries. Who has the right to suffer? I’m sure you could find an even greater degree of suffering than the orphaned child in Africa. Does the orphaned child who suffered limb loss due to a vascular disease diminish in any way the suffering of the aforementioned child? Of course not. Both are horrible circumstances and both degrees of suffering neither elevate nor diminish the persons right to feel what they do indeed feel.

We must also deal with the fact that countless studies have shown that suicide rates are actually higher in wealthier communities/neighborhoods. The tendency of money to morph troubles rather than dissipate them is ever present.

Troubles are no doubt usually more present for lower income families. The thing to understand is that the ability to adapt and be happy in your current situation has been proved to be largely genetic. This leaves us as a society with a need for a larger awareness of the lack of impact that socioeconomic factors have on happiness in general.



  2 comments for “Why I never say “He/She shouldn’t be unhappy”

  1. June 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I love the fact that you wrote this! I think all the media especially had a big part in the fact that they tend to manipulate people into thinking that material is the source of happiness. When indeed it’s not.

    • June 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      I’m glad you like the post! I agree as well that the medias influence is probably greater than we would like to acknowledge..

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