“Happiness is not about filling our lives with years, but filling years with life” – Jesús Sánchez Martos
It is said that when an anthropologist from the Belgian colonial government arrived to Congo in the early twentieth century and found a pygmies tribe, seeing them so tiny, naked and joyful, he asked them if they felt happy men. Pygmies were not able to answer. The word happiness was not in their vocabulary. They did not need it. Pretending a consensus around the word happiness is impossible. Each one has its own definition and no dictionary seems to encompass it.
There are those who say that happiness is an invention of our culture and those who consider it an unattainable utopia, but necessary to make us walk. “Happiness is the way“, they say. There are those for whom only exist happy moments and those for whom it can become a permanent state; those who say that we are happy and those who say that we feel happy. There is the continuing desire of the Occident and the moderation of the Orient; those who seek happiness in power, money and possessions and those who try reducing cravings to a minimum; those who seek it on Earth and those who reserve it for heaven. There are the scientists who dare to launch a formula (H=E(M+B+P)/R+C), those who talk about a happiness gene and those who say that the only thing we can talk about is welfare or satisfaction. There are those who believe that happiness is loving someone else and those who believe it is loving himself, and those who think that you have to love yourself to love someone. There are those who try to sell it and those who try to buy it, those who sing it, those who write it and even those who flee from it. There are those like Santa Teresa who confess that their greatest sin was willing to be happy and those like Borges who say that not having been happy is the worst of the sins.
“I want to have things to tell. When I leave the world, I want to feel I’ve been here“.
Among so much definition and contrast I suspect that perhaps the pursuit of happiness is the wrong question. Therefore, and having the risk of being wrong, let me say this: I did not come here to be happy or not happy, I came here to live.
I came here to look into the eyes of life and to accept that, between it and I, everything will never go all right. That while it is full of happiness, illusions and surprises, it is also full of trouble, fears and disappointments. I have come to accept the challenge of taking everything: kisses and hits, beginnings and endings, triumphs and failures. I do not want a life of small pieces and cut, I want it “full equiped”, because I prefer a real pain than a false joy. I want a story with its plot, its intrigue and its outcomes, its desires, its “I did it” and its “I almost got it”. When I leave the world, I want to feel that I’ve been here.
I want to have things to tell. I want wars, achievements, friendships, travels and adventures. I want to learn the peace of a straight and paved road, but also the adrenaline of curves. And if someone prefers to stay in a rock of Nepal meditating, calming his soul, controlling his desires and thus achieving the highest levels of happiness, it seems well to me, but I do not want that life for me. I do not want a calm life, without suffering, without impotence and without frustration. I repeat: I do want it “full equiped”.
To be honest, after so many definitions of happiness, I do not know if it is momentary or sustained, but what I do know is I do not want – though exists – an orgasm of a whole life. “The uninterrupted happiness is boring, it must have alternatives,” said Molière. I want to go out, get handsome, find it, play with it, conquer us, eat each other, challenge us and then, for a few seconds (and just for a few seconds), reach the orgasm. Because there are things that even though they only last a while and they appear to then disappear, they can in their fugacity justify a whole life.
“I didn’t came to be perfect, I came to be real”.
I do not want to live trying to control everything. I did not come here to tell the Earth how it should rotate, I came here to lie down on its chest and rotate with it. I neither have come to live safe, to win or to hit, but to dare, to play and to choose. I want dead that child that when he’s hungry, he gets boob, and if he does not get it, cries. I want to live life with the rules of life, where sometimes you win and other times you learn. I want to banish from my vocabulary the words require, judge and expect, and I want that, instead, the words accept, appreciate and love stay highlighted.
I came here to love you as you are and that you love me as I am, and maybe that does not make the moment happier, or does not make it more perfect, but I neither came here to be perfect, I’ve come to be real. And if in the attempt to live stories, squeeze every moment and try to embrace an authentic life, I leave shreds of happiness, I accept the deal with honor, since we must not forget that in the human desire to live happy, happy is just the family name of its protagonist action: to live. So, as perfectly summarizes the name of this social movement: GO and LIVE!