Sandra Cooze in her book “Journey to Your Self” argues that “Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy and you will always find something to be happy about”. Of course, dear reader, at a glance, Sandra seems to be living in an ideal world, where one can just choose to be happy. I call this column “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome” or DFTBA for short. In these weekly columns, we will talk about awesomeness – interrogating and deconstructing it. In the end, you will choose your own awesomeness.
Back to Sandra and her “choosing happiness business”, I remember seeing children play hide and seek once. In this heat, under a hot sun, these children ran about, sweating, screaming, hardly having places to either hide or seek. Yet, they were the happiest set of people I had seen for a while. I have this theory that once one is beyond the age of fifteen, the world immediately becomes cruel, uninviting, and everyone is filled with some form of anger or sadness. After fifteen, if exams won’t reduce you something close to nothing, your friends and social relationships will – and if these won’t your family just might. Maturing into adulthood involves a series of forgetting. But, I want you to remember. Remember childhood.
The hardest, yet equally most rewarding thing is to choose your happiness. The struggle is in staring hardship dead in the eyes, yet finding a way to be happy. Children do that skillfully. You’d see them, rich or poor, clothed or not, just living, laughing, loving. The demands of life hardly give you the opportunity, but at every turn, embrace your inner child. Let loose, scream, build sand castles on the beach. Or, maybe act a little more “mature” and sit with friends (yes, these same friends) and enjoy a juicy conversation, or enjoy our breathtaking sunsets. This means we can cut Sandra a break; she was onto something.
How does this relate to awesomeness, you may ask? Don’t forget to be awesome, which is why you’re remembering childhood. In this column, I will remind you and you will remember. Let’s remember that “awesomeness” isn’t only climbing Mount Everest (or the Pitons, whichever you fancy), or stealing mangoes and living to tell the tale – although these are rightly awesome. “Awesomeness” also involves doing the things you love, with the people you love. In that way, awesomeness and happiness are universally connected. Not forgetting to be awesome thus means choosing your happiness. And so, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome, and we shall see next week.