The Relationship between Happiness and Individuality

Happiness and Individuality are two different adjectives that describe a state of being among humans. To point out the relationship between the two, it is important to identify and define each word not only in terms of what they describe, but most importantly of its implication to society and social functions. Each of these words depicts a state of being that affects not only the person of which the adjective is ascribed to but also of its impact to other people.

To define happiness, ordinary laymen would say that it is a feeling of contentment, which could easily be interpreted as the feeling generated when a person acquires and achieve every bit of aspirations and desires. Contentment can be equated either through material or emotional equivalence as in when the person acquires enormous wealth and just sit around doing nothing, or it could either be that feeling when a person finds the love of his or her life.

Defining happiness can be very subjective, yet the experiences it provides is as common and sometime negligible when felt too often. Individuality on the other hand is a deviation from common social norms. It can be a reflection of uniqueness or variety, thus when being ascribe to a person would depict as a quality not similar among the rest. Individuality stands above all the rest of the norms. It may either refer to practices or behaviors and attitude, or simply designates characteristics to a person beyond ordinary (Chin. 2001).

Thus we often asks ourselves, if happiness is subjective, how would it relate with individuality? Is there a relationship between the two, or are they totally different from one another? In an article I came across with, the author tried to establish the connection between the two by theorizing the relativity of happiness. He said that happiness operates under three postulates namely; (1) happiness results from comparison, (2) standards of comparison adjust, (3) standards of comparison are arbitrary constructs (Veenhoven. 2004).

It therefore assumes that happiness is a case to case basis where by it assumes that the definition would vary according to past and existing experience, economic and social standing, education background and ethnicity. The sum total of which defines individuality or the uniqueness of the person defining it. Others may be poor but finds contentment in the simplicity of life without any detriments or complications while others finds happiness by amassing more wealth beyond what was already possessed and acquired. A child’s definition of happiness is different from that of an adult, so as the difference between men and women’s definitions.

Happiness varies according to culture and religion too, because while the monks finds happiness in the good deeds they perform notwithstanding the lack of personal earthly possessions, kings and emperors requires lavish treatment and gifts in order to feel happy. Personality is one factor that identifies and defines happiness, and because it is diverse and highly variable among species, making that person happy can become a difficult task (Gray. 2003). A longtime ago, when technology was a far fetched idea, people found contentment in the serenity and silence of the environment.

A time at the park, or alone by the beach, is the usual leisure that people use to engage in. They were content at walking their way to their destination enjoying the journey and the scenery around. But then advancement came, along with it carries the fast pace of life where everything is done in an instant. Cars, vehicles and all kinds of transportation brought people quickly to their destination without even the luxury of stopping to admire the view. All of the sudden, the walk along the park, spending time by the beach, was all a waste of precious time.

People started to want more of what they are currently enjoying, building up the momentum before it can actually be considered for contentment. Fast speed cars are now being preferred over the contemporary models, and mobile phones are now being preferred for quick and constant communication. While technology progresses, so too does the pace of life, and this is too often the cause of why there are people who no longer know what makes them happy. While everything is attainable, with perseverance and hard work, what is left to desire is something that isn’t actually there yet.