Thursday, March 20, 2014

International Happiness Day

OK here we go. Entire world 1 Tilley 0. Today we are asked what makes us happy. Everyone is joining in. Knowing how to play by the rules of this game I tweeted Radio Bristol and suggested that a bit of a Boing Boing Baggies Baggies worked for me.

For the ignorant it is the chant and action of delirious West Brom fans. Rarely seen this season but unbelievably good for endorphin production when done at, say, Wembley.

But actually I am usually happy. Maybe 'content' would be a better word. I can't understand happiness as a binary on/off thing. 'What makes you happy?' is a lazy question. We probably mean 'What increases your happiness?'

I recall sitting in the dentist's chair in 1984 a few weeks before my ordination. As I suffered from asthma in those days (mercifully no longer since I shot the cat) I had to have a local anaesthetic to have two wisdom teeth removed. Half way through the surgery on the first of the two the surgeon told me my tooth was 'interesting' and that he was getting his students in. Lord preserve us from having 'interesting' medical conditions.

My teeth made him happy.

I said to myself, and this was a life-changing moment - I am glad I am me and wouldn't want to be anyone else. In discomfort and humiliated, unable to speak, I decided, yes decided, to be happy.

I read a brief article yesterday explaining how a dozen or so people who failed to get to work because they were having a bad day managed to miss being killed on 9/11. Missing the bus, arguing with a partner, breaking a shoelace - life saving.

So what makes you happy? It is in your gift to decide to be. Tired, ill, frustrated, impatient and also happy? Why not? Try it.

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