Being in the company of shallow friendships may bring us a measure of elation. Engaging in the occasional alcoholic drinking spree or some other vice may grant us a degree of pleasure. Uncertain and ambiguous romantic relationships may even give us enjoyment for the time being. But do these really make us happy? Perhaps these momentary delights are mere distractions.
What do we feel when we find ourselves alone? If loneliness and sadness are all that remain, then these habitual gratifications that we derive from so-called friends and superficial relationships are nothing more than distractions that mask what we truly feel.
If we constantly engage in these activities, then perhaps at the very core of our being exists a sadness that lies beyond our awareness. We may not even admit it. Yet it is there. We may even make ourselves believe we are happy and project this image to others. But if the only source of our happiness are these meaningless distractions, then we may find ourselves more miserable in the end. Happiness is a universal goal. But it must be sought responsibly. Living for the moment and engaging in risky thrill-seeking behavior is neither healthy nor responsible.
Happiness is not just an emotion. It is a sense of satisfaction that we derive from our accomplishments which lead us to greater self respect. It is finding a meaningful purpose and constantly striving towards its fulfillment. Therefore, we must ask ourselves, are we truly happy? If not, then it is time to rid ourselves of these habitual pleasure-seeking distractions and find a purpose that will ultimately lead us to true and lasting happiness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Fabella, PhD is a research director and a graduate and undergraduate professor in the Philippines. He is an editorial board member of the IRP international research journal and a Fellow of the Royal Institution Singapore. He is the author of Transcendence: Essays For Personal Reflection. His blog can be found at Meanings and Perceptions.