Thursday, December 3, 2015

HAPPINESS: A CLASSIFICATION ESSAY


Everybody dreams of a happy and fulfilling life, and commonsense dictates that they leave no stone unturned in their efforts to achieve it. The first step in this endeavor is determining one’s path in life. Having determined it, they pursue it with determination and end up leading happy and satisfying lives. The path in question could be closer to home; alternatively, it could involve work and the business world; it could also involve serving the greater good.

Some people seek happiness in family life, in marriage and children. Their joy comes from a love match and children whose concerns are lovingly dealt with. The close bonds within a family and the love, compassion, empathy and sympathy that is constant in a happy home bring a deeper joy leading to an inner peace that is hard to rival. Watching the children grow up and helping them with any difficulties they encounter provide great happiness. Spouses age together having made their way along their chosen path hand in hand. Looking back come old age, they see what they have achieved during a life well spent.

Not everyone is built for family life; some like to spread their wings and explore. The narrow confines of their hometowns are claustrophobic. Such people often find happiness in a chosen vocation, a job that they devote all their energies and every waking hour to. People who have not just got any old job but have truly found their vocation are to be envied because their single minded pursuit of their goals brings them great joy on many different levels. Like family life and unlike drugs or alcohol, this joy is not temporary; it is permanent and ever changing. There is always something new round the corner; a new challenge that needs to be overcome, which in turn leads to more happiness. Such people find it very difficult to ever let go and retire preferring to end their lives on the job.

There is yet another group of people who turn outwards in their search for happiness. Their fulfillment comes from a mission that they have taken on and pursue single mindedly. Such people as Pope Francis, the secretary general of Amnesty international, Mother Theresa and the like seek happiness in helping others: they seek to alleviate poverty and disease, end human trafficking and slavery and all forms of human rights violations for example. Still others are on a mission to save the planet and protect endangered species; The Sea Shepherds are an example for such groups and their mission is to fight illegal waling. Missions require a single minded focus to the exclusion of all else and bring great joy to the people who have found their “mission” in life.


In conclusion, there seems to be a close correlation between a single minded devotion to a cause, a field of work or a life style and happiness. Those who are lucky enough to determine what exactly they can fully devote themselves to are destined to lead happy lives. Those who waft around from pillar to post are doomed to waste a wonderful opportunity to experience great joy and fulfillment. 

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