Happiness and Unhappiness

Some would say that we should happy as much of the time as possible. A few think there should be a drug made available to achieve that. However, unhappiness is what gets us to react to threatening situations and can lead to a happier and safer world.

Historic Portsmouth

I go to all sorts of talks and discussions in and around my home city of Portsmouth, UK.

One such one was a lecture and Q & A about happiness. It started with a trying to define what happiness is.

What was decided on was this collection: Happiness is Subjective wellbeing; Joy, contentment, positive emotions; Deep sense of flourishing from a healthy mind.

Of course the chemical processes that go into creating a sense of wellbeing could be elaborated on. I thought about this and wondered whether getting a series of dopamine hits from an addictive habit constitute happiness? Technically the answer could be “yes”. Dopamine is produced naturally in the body and is considered to be a reward drug.

The audience of about 60 were asked whether if there was a happiness drug (with no unpleasant side effects) should everyone take it and make the world a better and happier place? There were probably about 4 hands that went up in favour.

If someone is depressed or has permanent psychological malady would it not be okay to treat such people medicinally as those who are suffering anxiety and depression currently are?

Some would say that we should happy as much of the time as possible. A few think there should be a drug made available to achieve that. However, unhappiness is what gets us to react to threatening situations. It is what drives our actions and by doing so can lead to a happier and safer world. It is dystopian to want permanent happiness.

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If someone was coming to murder your family, being happy is not the right state of mind to be in. Being unhappy about disasters and diseases can compel us to find cures and improve safety. If we are happy all the time, would we not lose motivation for trying to do things that should be done. Happiness is a reward that teaches us that we are doing the right thing.  How macabre and dangerously dystopian the world would be if people were happy about torturing others. No, wait! Is that not what tyrants and socio-psychopaths are when they are doing terrible things?

Does it not suggest that if we were all on a happiness drug like “Soma”, it would be a world where we would let the psychopaths of the world do what they want to us without complaining too much? It would surely make us like them, happy without a conscience.

Author: James Williams

Former presenter at Express FM radio, James Williams created the discussion program ‘Men’s Matters’. This was transmitted via radio and the internet across the globe receiving listeners from as far away as Australia, Canada and the USA. He has appeared on live day time chats and produced pre-recorded interview based discussions covering a wide variety of topics (social, cultural, medical and political). He has also produced a number of videos for You Tube. As a former city councillor, James helped hundreds of clients sort out numerous issues such as child abuse, housing and transport. He was Chair of a committee that produced a report on child neglect in Portsmouth and, by himself, secured a unanimous vote from Portsmouth City Council in 2010 to establish Goodwill Day every year on 18th December (7 days before Christmas). This was intended to encourage ordinary people to extend the spirit of Christmas to the lonely and isolated. James’ creative thinking has seen him publish two sci-fi novels with more on the way. He is a student of ethics and founder of Dimensional Theory, a grand theory of inter-connectivity.

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