Happiness is…

When our fore father’s were writing what would become one of the most important and controversial documents framing societal mores so to speak, they obviously believed that “happiness” was an important  factor by including;

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” one of the most famous phrases in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and seen as part of the Bill of Rights, namely, these three aspects are listed among the “inalienable rights” of man.

It seems in this time of political turmoil, an ongoing war in Iraq and the economy stressing out just about everyone, the subject of “happiness” is being discussed and dissected more than ever.  

Time magazine devoted an issue to The New Science of Happiness

The British BBC television kicked off a six part series on the subject this week;

The series looks at the newest research from around the world to find out what could it be that makes us happy.

We all want to be happy but the problem has always been that you can’t measure happiness.

Happiness has always been seen as too vague a concept, as Lord Layard, Professor of Economics at the LSE and author of “Happiness – lessons from a new science” points out.

“There is a problem with the word happiness.

“When you use the word happy, it often has the sort of context of balloons floating up into the sky or something frivolous.”

Now scientists say they can actually measure happiness.

Neuro-scientists are measuring pleasure. They suggest that happiness is more than a vague concept or mood; it is real. “

Clearly “happiness”, it’s meaning and importance differs individually.  The following are some fascinating and revealing quotes about the subject from writer’s, philosophers and other colorful characters I found worth sharing:

  •  I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy. ~Franz Kafka
  • If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.  ~Edith Wharton
  • Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.  ~Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  • This is my “depressed stance.”  When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand.  The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better.  If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this.  ~Charlie Brown
  •  You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. ~Camus
  • There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.~Carl Jung .

Obviously there are divergent views of the concept of “happiness.”  The song below is my own way of perhaps mocking the idea as well as sharing a great tune.  There is a great deal of controversy over what the song means.  Some claim it represents heroine, others say it refers to homo-erotocism, and a bevy of other theories.  I won’t even pretend to know what was meant by the song, but for me it is one more brilliant contribution from the Beatles both musically and philosophically. 

The Beatles – Happiness is a Warm Gun

It seems to me that we are so busy worrying about “happiness” and attaining it that perhaps we are missing the point all together.  With that said, I want to know what “happiness,” the word or idea mean to you?  Are you happy?  Do you care?  Either way, feel free to share your thoughts, I look forward to exploring this further and maybe even learning something about myself in the process.  Have a “happy” day.

Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

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15 thoughts on “Happiness is…

  1. Great topic Veronica, I think we don’t see the forrest because of the trees, or the other way around…:) In the pusue of happiness we loose the now and don’t realize we already have that which we are seeking.

    I think happiness is enjoying the moment, the little things…


  2. I’m happy. I think happiness is acceptance of and peace with whatever your current circumstances are. It is all about attitude.

    peace and sunshine,



  3. I am with you and Camus on this one, Veronica.

    Seeking happiness won’t work because it is an inner state – not a thing. Letting go, on the other hand, will gradually increase your happiness.

    For me, happiness simply means being in flow – at one with myself and my living experience.



  4. John Lennon from the 1980 Playboy magazine interview: “No, it’s not about heroin. A gun magazine was sitting there with a smoking gun on the cover and an article that I never read inside called “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.” I took it right from there. I took it as the terrible idea of just having shot some animal.

    I find it interesting how we attach such monumental significance to work of art when the creators had no intention to provoke such rabid analysis. For me, this song represented the pleasure derived from sinking the pink with a warm flesh missile.

    I first got into the “White Albun” real heavy around the age of 16. I had recently read Vince Bugluosi’s book “Helter Skelter” and was mesmerized by the meaning that Manson had attached to the lyrics of this album. “Rock the Raccoon” was a revelation about the impending race war where “Dan the Man” (the White establishment) would be defeated. “Honey Pie” was the Beatles attempt to contact Charlie and to tell him to proceed with his plans for the race war commencement.

    Happiness can only be obtained when we reach inner solace. We must embrace humanity and the other vessels of our spiritual consciousness (atoms of the creator- each other). Wealth, material gain, and peer acceptance are only illusions that separate us from one-ness, and as such, should be relegated to an insignificant status.


  5. Happiness is about fellin on top of the world. Yeah, i’ll take anything from the Fab Four but what about this all-time classic.

    Elvis is the greatest.


  6. Happiness is a warm gun that has so many meanings obviously the sexual meaning..I love that song so…its my favorite beatles song. Happiness was getting to spend time with Veronica and go through tough times and grow with together


  7. Aw, thanks Veronica, This is an excellent one for me. You can quote me on this one here that we can find that happiness the minute we let ourselves feel it.

    Thanks for the Beatles, my favorite all time anytime. The Beatles have been with me ever since I can remember.

    Peace, love and understanding.


  8. According to what I’ve read…the song was a take off on Schulz’s ‘Happiness is a Warm Puppy’.

    In response to your question – I’m happy that my quest for happiness hasn’t died. The quest is where it’s at, I think. Because that journey brings me pleasant surprises that make me happy. No one can be really content with happiness, is, I guess, what I’m saying. If (s)he were, (s)he’d have stopped growing.


  9. I’d have to go with Edith Wharton on this one…I think that like everything in life, if you try too hard, it takes the piss out of the whole thing 😉


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