To Hate Happiness
No matter what trials we face in life, no matter how dark the day, there is a golden thread that shines in the heart, and holds us aloft, dangled though we are over a pit of infinite despair. There is one thing more important than happiness itself: the hope of attaining happiness. Happiness is a mercurial thing; it flits away and flutters back for unknown and unpredictable reasons. However, our faith that happiness will always return is the most reliable font of real happiness that one can possess.
The nexus of hope and happiness is the heart of both. What is hope ever but the hope of happiness? What is happiness ever but the same thing? There is nothing real but by faith. Who can love that does not believe in love? Who can find beauty who will not look for it? Who can achieve what they do not aspire towards? They say science is truth, but they have never seen gravity or evolution or long-extinct reptiles with their own eyes; all of science is faith in reason. We do not believe truth; truth is what is believed. Happiness is to believe in happiness.
When we are in love, the thoughts of our beloved fill us with a sweet joy, but when the bond has been broken, those same thoughts become wreathed with thorns and fill us with pain. It is possible as well to fall out of love with happiness. Having for so long failed to experience happiness with any real consistency, there are people who come to feel a qualm of resentment any time the thought of happiness, or the prospect of a means for attaining it, comes before their mind’s eye. They find themselves hating happiness. Unable to forgive it for always betraying and abandoning them, they grow distrustful of it, and resign themselves to permanent separation. The last ember of their faith in its attainment is extinguished, and all that remains is an eternal, mental darkness.
Happiness has a home wherever it is believed in. Depart though it does, and goes where we know not, happiness will always return to those who have faith in it. Happiness is sure to elude us on a great many days, but we cannot abandon the pursuit. The most dangerous idea is that happiness is forever beyond us, that it is a pipe dream, that it is pointless to try and attain it.
I do not ask you to be happy. I ask only that you forgive happiness, that you trust it once more, that you believe eventually it will come to you. And just as one moves towards a lighted signal through the haze of a storm, it will in time make its way back to your reignited faith.
Martin Vidal is the author of The Ambition Handbook: A Guide for Ambitious Persons