The Bridge to Happiness


Clayton Keeling

Watch your head, you might hit it on something you can’t see.

By Clayton Keeling, Copy Editor

I think most high school students would find it agreeable that sometimes things don’t work out the way we want. You can live your entire life by the rules, doing what you’re told and being a decent human being, and still get obliterated by random things life will throw at you.

There’s also no secret to being happy or successful, because they’re subjective feelings that are dependent on each person you ask.

There are a few catches to being happy with yourself, and I think the first is this impossible strive to some happy wonderland we all dream about, where things make sense. As a baseline- nothing always makes sense and does what it should, as the only constant in life is change.

But more so, the goal of ideal happiness is inherently rigged for humans. We all have different passions and goals and longings. If we all pictured living in a big house with a nice care, a joyful marriage and two kids as being happy, a lot of us aren’t ever going to be happy, even if we end up with those things.

Instead I think a better goal (and a much more reasonable one) is being content. If you can accept who you are, the things you want, and your lot in life and be okay with it, you’ll find what happiness is to you and maybe even achieve it.

I think the saddest thing is watching sad people trying to maintain another sad façade of happiness. Contrary to what people may tell you, it’s okay to not be okay. If things are getting you down and you don’t feel swell as the tide, guess what- that’s okay. You don’t need to fight it and pretend to be happy.

If we always tried to put on a smile and pretend to be happy when we weren’t, we would end up being the most unhappy people ever.

Be true to yourself. More than that, be honest with yourself. If you don’t believe me and think that pretending to be happy around other people will help or make you feel better eventually, that’s alright. But at least be honest with yourself and acknowledge,”hey, I’m not okay”.

I think contentedness is brilliant and a much more worth-while pursuit than going straight for happiness, because it’s really the bridge that leads there.

If you’re not accepting of yourself and what you want, how can you ever be happy? And if you say you’re happy, yet aren’t content with yourself and what you have, are you really happy?

But there is a danger with being content. To a cynical or pessimistic person, being content is a pit in front of happiness that can swallow you up and you’ll never be happy.

This happens as you accept all the crap life throws at you, but you simply accept and accept and accept until you’re buried in crap and can’t get out, so you just accept it all. It’s not impossible to break this, and most people can dig themselves out, but none-the-less it’s sad and can be avoided with caution.

There is a medium of being content and letting yourself be happy, but at the same time still trying to improve your situation. It’s sort of a catch-22, but I don’t think it’s impossible to get out of due to its extremely subjective nature.

My final words would be these: accept what there is, but improve what you’re in control of, and maybe one day, we’ll be able to find a little happiness. We won’t find it in the same place, but hopefully we find it all the same.