I heard this song by Sheryl Crow while driving my son to school today, and it made me think about the meaning of happiness. I'll be honest, I can't understand all of the words. :) lol But I do understand the chorus, and that's the part that got me thinking. Basically, she is asking, "If you're so happy, then it can't be that bad. But if it makes you happy, then why are you so sad?"
I think the world looks at happiness as anything that makes us feel good in the moment. Riding a roller coaster is a thrill, and gives you a few laughs. We might even think about it for awhile after riding. But is that happiness? The world tries to tell us that to be happy we need things: cell phones, nice cars, nice clothes, a big screen tv, spa treatments, vacations, jewlery, and every new gadget. Shopping is definitely one of the things that makes most people feel good. It makes them happy to buy something they like. But how long does that happiness last? Wealth doesn't bring happiness, as evidenced by the fact that there are many wealthy people who are depressed. Drugs, alcohol and such can mask unhappiness so that we don't feel it so acutely, but they don't eliminate it. In my opinion, true happiness comes from a contentment that can't be bought, and can't be found in momentary pleasures. True happiness is found in peace of mind, and in faith and hope for the future. I truly believe that peace of mind, faith, and hope for the future are more easily found by turning to God. Happiness is a decision, but it is also a complete lifestyle. I think part of it is living true to ourselves. When we live according to our conscience, and the standards that we hold deep down in our soul, we are living according to our integrity, and we will have peace of mind. That isn't the "ha ha" happiness that we might get from watching a funny movie, but is a contentment that transcends all earthly pleasures. That is the happiness we should seek, because it is the most long lasting.