Thank you for the compliment, I only hope that you enjoy my answer to
this one as well.
When are we Happiest?
Unfortunately the world is an unhappy place, full of misery and
suffering. We hear of senseless acts of violence and needless deaths
every day. Money and more pointedly the lack of it is a source of
great unhappiness all over the world.
Reigning supreme over all other miseries in the western world is
matters of the heart. Love, betrayal, loneliness and unrequited love
bring a whole new dimension to unhappiness as these are rarely
fleeting moments of sadness but cancers, slowly eating away at our
pride, resolve and our souls.
I'm not saying that it is impossible to find happiness in this world
only that sometimes happiness is not true happiness - it is more a
reprieve from being miserable. Sometimes when we believe that we are
happy we are fooling ourselves because the reality is that we are not
truly elated and happy, we just aren't sad for a while.
Some of the times that we are genuinely happy is if we are lucky
enough to find someone that we love and reciprocates our feelings. We
are happy on the birth of our children but some of that happiness is
us already living vicariously through the new born because of their
And therein lies the root of happiness, innocence.
We are happiest as children, innocent and untainted by the ills of the
world, if we are lucky and do not suffer abuse.
We are happiest before we see the true face of the world with it's
religious and territorial wars, senseless slaughter and waste of human
lives. Before we know anything of affairs of the heart and the pain
and pleasure that love can bring and take away.
Our days and our thoughts are uncluttered with things like worry and
fear, hatred and pain. We blissfully run through fields and the most
important concern we might have is whether our mother will shout at us
for getting a hole in yet another pair of shoes.
We have no idea or concern as to what the future holds in store. We
face it with no fear or pre-conceptions and our dreams are boundless
and intact. We are oblivious to the fact that once we exit childhood
there will insurmountable challenges in our way so we run and play,
climb trees and throw balls whilst the world waits patiently around us
ready to shatter our illusions and hit us hard with reality once our
childhoods are over.
When reality hits, it strips away our hopes and dreams unless we cling
on to them vehemently and defiantly, our innocence falls around the
same time and realisation dawns that the world is not a playground.
There are bills to pay, there is work to do, hearts to be broken and
lives to be lost. Mortality looms as we realise all of a sudden how an
endless childhood seems so long ago and so fleeting and we realise
that we are looking through the eyes of an adult at other children
playing in the field, laughing and running with their innocence intact
and we realise that it is that innocence that must be protected as
long as possible. Because we know that when that innocence leaves them
happiness will only visit from time to time rather than be a constant
We realise and remember as we see children playing the happiness that
we enjoyed and we realise that we we were happiest as children before
we were tainted by reality and responsibilities.
As we watch them play, just for a moment happiness turns our way and
smiles like an old friend and the child in each of us smiles back
Was that o.k ?
Clarification of Answer by
07 Nov 2002 05:21 PST
lol. It does seem a little pessimistic, i guess that's because I wrote
it before my morning coffee. Maybe the answer is we are happiest
'after' having morning coffee.
Okay, so let me take another stab at it.
"We are happiest as children...... because our hopes and dreams for
the future are very much a real possibility. Life itself, seems to
have endless possibilities where we can be astronauts and jet pilots,
pop stars and movie actors.
We are therfore happiest as children because possibilities and
fantasies are only limited by our own vast imaginations.
We are free of constraints, rules, obligations and responsibilities
and it is that freedom from responsibility that allows us to feel
I'm not sure I agree that we are happy when we live in the moment and
concentrate on the positive, because although it may be leaking back
into pessimism, we can focus on the positives of the here and now, but
the negatives are still there in the background.
Although the principle of "in the moment" does strike a chord, because
when we are children, we live each day as it comes and squeeze as much
fun as we can out of each one. We never think about tommorrow (except
on christmas eve) and yesterday is already forgotton.
So i guess the answer is that we are happiest as children because we
enjoy the moment without wasting time looking ahead or behind worrying
about past mistakes and future concerns.