Happy. It’s a word with which I’ve never been comfortable, and yet I think about it a lot. The thing is, for a word we use so indescribably often, I’m not sure I even really know what it means. Is happiness the absence of sadness? Surely there’s always something to be sad about, isn’t there? Is happiness what happens when everything is finally right? Because nothing is ever completely right, just as it’s never all completely wrong (though that’s harder to see sometimes).
I recently finished the comic book edition of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness. He claims happiness is what all us humans are after at the end of the day. I like his story: Bright, driven kid finds a new way of doing things, stepping a bit more lightly upon the underdog and making a crapload of spondoolies in the process. But I’m not sure I agree with the premise of the book, that all anyone really wants is to be happy. Because if happiness is the absence of sadness, or that moment when everything is right, the fact is it simply doesn’t exist. And if all anyone ever wanted was to be happy, and the truth was that happiness didn’t even exist, we’d all be going stark raving mad, “waiting for Godot,” as it were.