Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happiness Like a Tattoo

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"Thanks Kane. I really appreciate it. By the way, how are you?" Yas texted me.

"I'm good Yas. Happy =)," I replied.

"I always say I wish happiness is like a tattoo; permanent."

"Ohhh… It comes and goes, I've learned."

"Yung iba kasi, maraming stock. Ayaw mamigay. (But you know, it just seems others have a huge stock of it. They don't want to share.) Hahaha."

"Yung iba naman, nasa harap na nila, ayaw pang kunin. (While for some, it's right in front of them, they just don't want to take it.)"

"Aaayyyyyy!!! May pinanghuhugutang malalim ba iyan? (Now where did that come from?)" Yas asked.
 
"Hahaha. It's just an observation of human nature. :)"
 
 
 
I think, we all want to be happy. As the Greek philosopher Aristotle observed, no person deliberately chooses to be unhappy.
 
The question then is: What is happiness? What makes us happy?
 
 
 
In his lecture "The Four Levels of Happiness", Reverend Robert Spitzer, S.J., writer, teacher, and speaker, discussed the four kinds of happiness we experience.

1) Laetus: Happiness in a thing.

I want a vanilla almond ice cream. I bought and ate vanilla almond ice cream. I am happy.
I want the Iphone4. I bought the Iphone4. I am happy.

This kind of happiness comes from things outside ourselves and involves one or more of the five senses. The pleasure they give is immediate, direct but short lived.

After awhile, you'd want another ice cream, a newer phone.



2) Felix: The happiness of comparative advantage.

I have a nicer job than Andrew.
I have more money than Michelle.
My biceps are bigger than Miguel's

This kind of happiness involves the ego. It is a result of competition, by comparing yourself to others and seeing yourself as superior to others. The most important thing in the world (me) has been affirmed.

We all want to improve ourselves, to achieve goals and finish projects. The danger is when we believe that happiness can only be found in achievement or success; that means we will live in constant competition with other people.



3) Beatitudo: The happiness that comes from seeing the good in another person and doing good for another person.

My friend Paolo is sick. I will take care of him even if it means I will not have enough sleep.
My sister needs money for school. I will give her the money I have been saving for a new phone.

Human beings are not selfish; or at least, not all are. Some of us also desire love, truth, justice, beauty.

We find happiness in giving to another, in making the world a better place. We make personal sacrifices, forgive others, give our live, energy, money and time to another person.

But at some point, we can become frustrated. We realize we can never do enough to help, there is always more to do. We cannot be everything to everyone.



4) Sublime Beatitudo: The reach for fullness and perfection of happiness.

We all face our mortality, at some point in time. This recognition of our finiteness is what pushes our desire for the sublime, something beyond. People of faith recognize this as a desire for a God.

For others, it's a recognition of something infinite that lies beyond our mortal world. Perhaps the collective human creativity and spirit which has propelled our civilization to where it is now.



Sometimes I wonder why happiness is fleeting. Why do we suffer? Perhaps it is because most of our happiness is tied to mortal things; human gadgets, human love.

21 comments:

anteros' dominion said...

i live up to what i once read in the bible--when you're down, try to make other people happy

it feels good doing good deeds

tc

Anonymous said...

permanence is nakakasuya, nakakapagod, nakakasawa. i don't have any tattoo, pero feeling ko kaya ang iba eh patattoo ng patattoo kasi nasusuya sila sa unang tattoo nila. eh permanent na so dagdagan nalang para mawala ang pagkasuya. if happiness were permanent kane, masusuya ka, magsasawa ka, mapapagod ka sa pagiging happy. so you still end up unhappy. perhaps happiness is happiness because it is fleeting. and it is fleeting not because it is, but because it has to be. (ano daw?! la lang. nagfefeeling deep lang. he he he.) come to think of it, wouldn't happiness be more meaningful if it were like a beaucon crown? sa ayaw at gusto mo babawiin sayo. sa malaon at madali, isusuko mo. so make sure you make the most of it while it lasts. (d na comment to. entry na! he he he.)

esf

Alter said...

oh, woah. I've read it like three times already and can still smile after.

this goes to 'the notebook'. thanks Kane.

~Carrie~ said...

thanks for sharing the 4 levels of happiness, Kane.

kaloy said...

on beatitudo --> we are incapable of altruism but the kind of self-serving happiness we get when we help others, is, i think, the kind of happiness that we should all strive for: the mutually beneficial kind...

on sublime beatitudo --> it was Plato who said that man strives for immortality and not necessarily for the immortal god - it is our vanity and damnation. this we see all too often when buildings and streets are named after people... and in writing - ah yes, immortality through writing...

PS: borrowing words from you, inasmuch as we can choose not to hurt, we can also choose to be happy everyday... :)

Désolé Boy said...

it's funny coz like Alter, I actually jot it down on my moleskin notebook
.
.
thank u for sharing. this could help me a lot =)

eko said...

happiness is a series of processes... the process of achieving that state, then the process of maintaining that state, then the process of recovering from a failed attempt...

i'll just frown. it is way too easier!

ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ said...

is fullness or completeness synonymous with perfection?

Momel said...

First off, I have a bone to pick.

pero feeling ko kaya ang iba eh patattoo ng patattoo kasi nasusuya sila sa unang tattoo nila. eh permanent na so dagdagan nalang para mawala ang pagkasuya

Truth is, nakaka-adik. Walang suyang naganap. Nakaka-adik yung pain. True, there are people who go for another tattoo to cover up existing bad art, but there was no semblance of suya behind their motives.

Cheers you!

Where's the happiness that comes with an orgasm?

kiel estrella said...

ako, happiness is a decision. and in most cases, it's so much easier to decide to be happy.

Arwind said...

I think we have to be lonely at times to appreciate the times, however few, when we get to be truly happy. So maybe the promise of "permanent happiness" isn't so good after all.

Mac Callister said...

ako happiness ko"madaming pera" hahahaha

Yas Jayson said...

sublime is of the rarest stock.

shadow said...

In my Dreams ,You know ,Who You Are
I Whisper Prayers ,To be Heard ,the Truth ,

That what I am suppose to do ,as answer to Prayers .

Setting ,You Free ,of every hearing My heart beat ,I shall ,give my all


oh how life ,could open up to give fresh start ,to love ,share our lives as we both know and believed it should been ,I been trying get back to you ,

the days turned to months
now my heart weeps ,as I can't feel you ,near as always held .

I am scared ,
I sound silly
I believe speaking What is Truth in your Heart
Never can be Silly
As it has taken me all this time ,to reach deep within me ,set my own ,free ,see a truth that was screaming to be Heard ,before it was lost .
I prayed for Time
Prayed ,you be watched over ,
Prayed for understanding
for to love ,
I never wanted ,you out my life ,Listen to many things ,you speak of me .

maybe I've loss

A Truth that beats with my own Heart ,will be

You
Two Fools that kept pushing each other away
Two fools ,that wouldn't pick up a phone ,or talk

two fools ,with a smile
Let go

rest our lives
those two fools
will always feel those beats of
"our hearts "

wiping away my Tears ,Screaming with my complete Soul to be Heard
I Love You

My Dreams ,you will always be ,maybe in life ,couldn't be together ,as I would gave

was no one that was there to Listen

Was always there ,to fix me

Was none that accepted ,after hearing truth

there was many that was there to Judge

As ,it must of seemed ,my heart ,felt nothing

as must seemed things I done ,was heartless

dreams ,you shall be ,with me that ,holds no judging ,only accepting ,with love ,we always knew

VICTOR said...

I have a theory that happiness and sadness are akin. If I were right, then it'd all make sense, yes?

Arian said...

When happiness is not trusted or warranted, it will expire..

Jennifer Louise said...

This was a very thought provoking post.

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

we only know we're happy if we suffer first. that's why happiness to me will always be a warm gun, mama. :)

Xander C. said...

nice pic above.. cool...

eon said...

ako i think it is not as fleeting as long as i am able to feel it even in the simplest thing or gesture, or in the company of those i love.

iamalone said...

im glad i was born perky, too bad dont have a tattoo yet lolz, pero if im gonna have one.. i want a whale tattoo =)