Less about happiness

“He told us to use this to practice making money so we can be rich like him.” Probably a lot less popular than actually giving large amounts of money, but also probably more effective in the long run.  I suspect the same for happiness.

I realize that my previous post, “Can happiness be shared“, was a bit rambling and branching into diverse topics. What I really wanted to say was this:

We can try to share our happiness with others through a smile, a gift or some friendly words. But how well this works depends greatly on the person who receives. Each person has a “capacity for happiness” of their own. This capacity seems to be partly inborn, possibly influenced by upbringing, and slowly altered through our life choices over the years.

If the other person has a high capacity for happiness, your “gift of happiness” is likely to ignite happiness in the other person as well.  That happiness can then continue to burn for a long time. Eventually as they gather happiness they may become “permanently happy”, throughout their life (and even beyond, but I cannot possibly prove that even if it should be true.)

If the other person has only a moderate capacity for happiness, the happiness you share with them will only burn briefly, like a matchstick (for those old enough to remember them).  After a little while, it is gone.

If someone has a low enough capacity for happiness, they may get envious at seeing you happy.  So your happiness actually makes them unhappy.  And even if it is not quite that bad, they may quickly get used to your gift of happiness and become angry if you don’t keep “feeding them happiness”.

It is this “capacity for happiness” which I believe cannot be given away, but is like health or stamina, part inheritance and part lifestyle.

I hope it was clearer this time around! It was to me, at least.

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