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Happiness according to Facebook users
So what is happiness? What do Facebook users think?
With all the gloom and doom in the daily news we all have far too much to worry about and make us sad. The antidote is surely happiness!
Ken Dodd once had a great hit with a song called Happiness in which he sang: "Happiness, happiness the greatest thing that I possess."
And Captain Sensible once had a number one with his fun-filled version of Happy Talk . People really do like happy songs.
I decided I would ask my friends at Facebook what happiness means to them. I got over 50 replies overnight so it was obvious that happiness is a very popular topic. We are all looking for those things that make us happy in life.
Happiness for Facebook users
Amongst the answers were obvious things like good food and the happiness shared among friends and family but also creativity, making and doing things also bring joy.
Chris Taylor said that "creating new things. writing. reading. helping" were the essential ingredients of happiness for him. Kim Brunner said that "singing, playing flute, drawing," were among the things that bring her joy too.
Singer-songwriter Lynn Carey Saylor listed writing songs amongst what was important to her as sources of pleasure. Lynn also said her puppy Dexter makes her happy.
Many people listed their pets with several responses listing dogs and cats.
Lou Purple Fairy said: "I am gaining a lot of happiness from making jams, chutneys and cakes, because I can be creative with my recipes, blag loads of veggies and fruit and give it to people who appreciate it. It particularly makes me happy that I can make cakes and sell them for a good cause to support @Arthur Pendragon on the Stonehenge Bones picket. being appreciated makes me happy."
This is another expression of creativity - creative cooking. The "Stonehenge Bones picket" she was referring to is the campaign being led by my good friend King Arthur Pendragon, the druid and eco-warrior, who is protesting the fact that bones of the dead that were buried at Stonehenge long, long ago, and meant to stay there, have been taken away by archaeologists and not brought back as was promised.
Many people listed the simple pleasures in life such as this example given by Galen Ray Richards who said: "good food, good friends, clean air, clean earth, clean lakes, rivers, and seas, kindness from strangers, Love from my children, good music from all genres, all the simple things that do not cost much are what makes life enjoyable to me."
Answers like this make you wonder why we are all so caught up in a desperate battle to make money, and why has a world that was created with so many sources of joy provided for free been allowed to become a place dominated by a need for money?
Coming back to a love for animals again, Jim Baker posted: "Today, lots of time with my cat. Then watching the birds (mostly crows today). Visiting the local cattle for interesting smelling licks.Cows are wonderful creatures, intelligent, gentle and wise; they would not go to war in Iraq, or anywhere else. More sensible than humans?"
Somewhat surprisingly, music was not as popular as a source of happiness as I had expected but a few people did list it. LInda Cator included it in her list of positive ingredients for a happy life and world: "Peace on earth goodwill to all men! End of war! People who do things that make the world better, asking nothing in return but a happier place to live....music...makes me happy!"
Music too was in the list of Kay Patterson who gave this response: "This is such a lovely idea! For me, being outside on a sunny day smelling the flowers & listening to crickets, being beside the sea, having Someone Else cook my dinner, listening to music, blimey there are loads when youstart thinking about it!!"
Ken Dodd on Amazon
More happiness ingredients
Frina Tenerife was made happy by seeing my thread posted on Facebook and said: "What a great post on FB?! For me it could be sometimes smallest, tiny details, little wins of the day! But what works always is... my husband, who makes me always smile and happy, my family, friends, good food, good music, parties, making presents and favors to people and seeing they are pleased to get them!"
Willow Jacky included: "watching the birds fight over who goes first in the bird bath they are very comical, a nice cup of fennel tea and a slice of gorgious carrot cake, listening to good music, meeting nice people, and having adventures" as amongst her ingredients for a happy life.
David Parkes enjoys being out and about in the countryside and he posted: "I'm happiest when I'm out walking, its that moment on a clear day, when you come over a pass and the view opens up in front of you."
For Peter Rothschild it was the success of a family member that brought joy to his own life. Peter posted: "My Youngest Son Daniel Has Just Graduated From University With Honours And Has Just Got Engaged To A Most Beautiful Intelligent Girl Who Has Also Passed With Honours...This Has Made Me So Happy....I Was Told Last Night At The Celebration Meal That I Had A Smile Like A Cheshire Cat.....Perfect As Can Be...."
Marcy Yoakum-Dorsy is also made happy ber son and she said: "My son's smile and music , making other people laugh and being appreciated."
For Katrina Rindsberg the pleasures of nature and the great outdoors are high on her list of things that bring happiness and she included in her response: "random acts of kindness, and a silent forest where nothing but nature can be heard."
Proving that love and romance are essential to a happy life, Mark Ranasinghe simply answered: "LOVE!"
Liz Galvin said: "Things that make me happy: Monkey Puzzle Trees. Baby's Chubby Feet and giggles. Cheese Fondue. Cuddling up to my man on the sofa. Blue Skies. Surreal Comedy Sketches. Any music by Animal Collective. My Pigs. Pouring rain and a thunderstorm after a hot day. Eating a whole bar of Green and Blacks Chocolate."
And Sam Taylor said "walking in the countryside with my honey by my side!" was what brings joy to her life.
Happiness by Ken Dodd
Happiness - the conclusion
First of I would like to thank all my friends at Facebook who responded to this topic and my apologies to those of you whose answers I have left out but I simply had more than enough material for this hub!
I think it can be concluded that the simple pleasures of life are what makes us happy. It seems a shame that you have to have money to enjoy so many of them in the modern world.
I managed to find both Ken Dodd and Captain Sensible on YouTube so now you can all enjoy their happy songs!
© 2010 Steve Andrews