The question at the end of my last post: What words come to mind when you hear the word “happiness?”
Pat wrote: Peace
According to Merriam-Webster, happiness is the state of being happy. Don’t you just love definitions like that?!?
Happy is followed by a very long enumeration of synonyms:
- cheerful, cheery, merry
- joyful, jovial, jolly, jocular, joyous, jubilant, overjoyed
- thrilled, elated, exhilarated, ecstatic, euphoric, exultant
- buoyant, radiant, rapturous
- gleeful, delighted, blissful, blithe, beatific, sunny
- pleased, satisfied, contented, gratified
- carefree, untroubled, lighthearted
Interesting that “peace” is not among them.
A happy person is described as being in good spirits … in a good mood.
Happy people are:
- smiling, beaming, grinning,
- in seventh heaven, on cloud nine, walking on air,
- jumping for joy, tickled pink, happy as a clam,
- over the moon, on top of the world.
It was Merriam-Webster’s description of “happy” that influenced me as I contemplated writing my essay on “happiness” for my writing group.
It is a rare occasion for any of Merriam-Webster’s words to describe me. I am an introvert and we are notorious for our discomfort in jubilant, jumping for joy crowds. A quiet evening at home holds more attraction than a room full of merry, exhilarated party-goers.
My “awkwardness” insecurity rose to the surface. Where do so serious-natured introverts fit into the “central mandate of the American character” to pursue happiness by doing the “Next Big Thing?”
How to write about “happiness?” I mulled that over for a couple of weeks, and then I was saved. A television program featured a segment on the 2017 World Happiness Report.
Aha! I had a way into the topic! Much less threatening to write about a country’s happiness than about my own or lack thereof. And my research project began.
What feelings are generated in you when you read Merriam-Webster’s list of synonyms for “happy?”
How would you approach writing about the topic of “happiness?”
Carol suggested highlighting the unexpected benefits pointed out by Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and author. Now there’s a guy who pursues happiness!
Not a bad idea, Carol. Why didn’t I think of that? Must have been that “awkwardness” brain fog.