If we are happy, we’ll contribute happiness to the society, if we are distressed we’ll surely inflict others in one way or other. Happiness is a social virtue, it is not an isolated state of mind which only surrounds an individual.
Some of us often think that happiness can sometimes act selfishly, which I think and feel isn’t right. We cannot enjoy a real happiness, a long lasting pleasure in our life if everything is not well around us. This state of mind can’t be reached by fooling others, snatching there rights, bunking our duties.
A society which tends to be happy with whatever resources it has, will definitely have a large number of individuals enjoying happiness. It doesn’t means that they do not have problems or they get satisfactory results from everything they do. It only means that these common problems of life do not interfere with the quality of life they can have.
Happiness is A Social Virtue
We cannot drive happiness by making others unhappy. It is not a physical object that can be snatched or stolen, its a sign of peace, an indication of wellness and when something or someone isn’t right we can not get that frame of mind. May be it can lead to temporary enjoyment, a temporary feeling of pleasure but it will not last long into that state of mind which is often called bliss.
Helping others without any personal interest can bring such thing. On internet this is often a marketing strategy, a way to promote a business goal, that is why we find so many well-wishers and helping hands most of which are doing nothing but promoting there own business. Online marketing has changed the way we read and perceive words and there meaning. You can read more about this trend in post ‘Honesty is a Keyword‘.
We can understand social virtue angle of this post by looking at our own life, by watching our own life. In modern world many things have changed and with that definition of the word love has also changed, now it can be misunderstood if it is used in its true pretext. Love’s philosophy has intermingled with lust’s philosophy but still we can find that a real, true example of love still exists in its natural state and it is the relation that exists between parents and children. In today’s atmosphere where a large number of single mothers are a part of society it is relation between a mother and child.
Can a mother enjoy-happiness by keeping her child unhappy. Can she sleep peacefully when her child is not feeling well or is ill. Technically she has no problem, she is ok and so she can sleep in peace, but it is not true she cannot enjoy anything until her child is also ok.
The above example is also applicable to us and our society, we may or may not understand this because they bond between a child and a mother is very very strong because of which this phenomenon also becomes visible. The relationship between individuals in a society is not that strong, it exists but it isn’t visible to such extent, but it does matters, it effects our mood, our lifestyle, our mood swings.
Do you know that existence of wild life is important for existence of life on this planet. Do you know that plants, animals and jungles play a key role in our life, something that we have only realized after we looked into climate change and natural disasters. We are all connected somewhere in every aspect physically, mentally and emotionally and if we destroy a portion we will get similar results on another.
We do not want to learn from simple things, we think philosophy and moral values as theoretical object with negligible practical value. Economic development and higher living standards are good for society but we cannot deny other aspects of life. Life is not a competition, its not a scale of achievements its a simple process which can be enjoyed by everyone. If a large part of society is engaged and involved in life (not fight) then its a social virtue, a boon for society.
Another view on the above subject with details can be had in What Should I do? in Selfishness, Happiness and Benefiting others by David Edwards and Media Lens at Dissident Voice.
Happiness Spreads in Waves
A study report published in December 2008 in CosmosMagazine.com confirms the infectious nature of happiness and how it has a ripple effect in society. This study research was conducted between 1971 and 2003 and involved 5124 people in 21-70 age group. Here are some excerpts from this report
“Changes in individual happiness can ripple through social networks and generate large scale structure in the network, giving rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals,” said the study’s authors.
“Most important from our perspective is the recognition that people are embedded in social networks and that the health and well-being of one person affects the health and well-being of others.
“Human happiness is not merely the province of isolated individuals,” added the study, by Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, both in the USA.
You can read more about this study in Happiness Spreads Waves.
This is all for today in Happiness is a social virtue, I hope this post was able to communicate some meaning which are often left with me and only words get across.