Remember the childhood days when the song “If you are happy and you know it clap your hands” sang together with the friends and the teacher in the class elated our souls from the boredom and monotony of the routineness. Even those who did not want to join this small celebration of happiness eventually ended up singing and dancing with glee spreading the warmth of the sun and rainbows all around.
International Happiness Day is celebrated on 20th March every year. It is a global event designated by the United Nations. It is a day to remind us that Human Life is worth living and worth being happy and well if you have not realized it till now then just celebrate this day to be happy. Yes, celebrations have been the most powerful ways to generate the rhythm of happiness. The rhythm of celebrations is magical. It creates the magic of togetherness and tickles our souls with mesmerizing delight. It gives the important lesson that ‘Being Happy’ is the first human right that every individual should exercise. The pursuit of happiness has been the area of the exploration of humans from the time when metaphysical inquiries became the source of happiness in the lives of ignited minds.
Aristotle said that Happiness is the state of mind while Indian Philosopher Adi Guru Shankaracharya talked about the actions for attaining a unified soul as a source of happiness. In contemporary times, almost every democratic country allows its citizens to earn their happiness as much as they can without violating anyone else's right to happiness. The pursuit of happiness for every individual is protected by the law in the United States of America. The countries like Bhutan, Finland, Norway have been making it to the top ten happy countries of the world as per the World Happiness Report simply because they are in the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness is a feeling. It is not the same for every individual and therefore it can never be generalised, but it can always be redefined according to circumstances. It is challenging many times to understand happiness. Like, until the onslaught of COVID-19 the sense of happiness, in general, was happy meals, happy travel, own house, a big car, and happy shopping. But this pandemic situation has totally disrupted the set idea of the plan of being happy and brought in foundational understanding given by Charles Darwin in the Theory of Evolution that in the struggle for existence only the fittest and the strongest one survives. The inquiry to know ‘Who is the fittest of All’ is a deep philosophical question. Scientists claimed that the one with the strongest immune system will survive the best in the COVID-19 outbreak. But this pandemic has seen the fittest of all, immune-wise, succumb to the pandemic and its effects. Then who is the fittest who has managed to survive this struggle for existence? The answer is the one who is happy from the inside and the one who is able to be calm psychologically.
It is evident from many studies that the one who can manage to remain calm under any given circumstances comes up triumphant. And in order to be calm one has to be wise to be able to identify the circumstances and choose the responses. The words of Brooke Shields, the well-known American actor, hold so true in this process of being wise. She says “Don’t waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window- or break down a door.” We need to have this wisdom of choosing – choosing that happiness is not in that what can be, but happiness is in being calm and being wise to be able to choose.
The pandemic has brought in a paradigm shift in the realisation of this aspect of happiness. It has actually brought in the emergence of a newer understanding of happiness. An understanding that in order to be happy in the unprecedented conditions we need to erupt with our own kind of happiness which is actually is a sense of being resourceful when actually we are not - A kind disruption in the state of mind to be happy. This disruptive happiness is based on one fundamental principle that we need to create wisdom that happiness that is lost can be regained by recreating and redefining it. Disrupting your happiness is critical to avoid stagnation. The funniest part of this kind of happiness is that it makes us realise that happiness is not what we seek in our dreams, but happiness lies in our reality. The reality of being together with our loved ones, the reality that very little is needed to survive, and being true to ourselves and with our reality. The reality that we survived the crisis and reality of being alive.
Disruptive Happiness is not only contagious but it also resourceful because it makes us realise our disruptive strengths. So, let us take a firm step towards being happy and spread it around us. It is not at all difficult to practice this disruptive happiness. Train your mind to be calm and train your thoughts to have wisdom celebrate. Train your calmness to celebrate resourcefulness present in our life. So, if you are happy and you know it clap your hands, stomp your feet and say Hurrah, please!
(The author is an Assistant Professor-Education, Amity University and Happiness Mentor)