“You should do whatever makes you happy.” <—– Most immature, misleading, selfish and detrimental phrase I can think of. This has been on my heart so much lately. It seems like everywhere I turn, I’m being reminded of what a vicious storm this idea causes in people’s lives every day.
When did doing whatever makes you “happy” become a noble way to live? I feel certain that my great-grandparents probably never heard that as a life lesson from their parents.
I know it seems nice on the surface. I know that the people I hear say it really do have good intentions. But sometimes it seems like we live in a world where the surface is all there is. We need to rediscover critical thinking. Let’s dig down into every common phrase and uncover what they really mean. Think, everybody! It’s not wise. It’s not thoughtful. It’s hasty and indulgent.
What does “happy” even mean? Can a person be happy every day for the rest of their lives if they just make the right choice? Happy is a temporary emotion that only lasts as long as the circumstances and circumstances are constantly changing with or without our permission. Let’s think about it. How often is “I just need to do what makes me happy” used as an excuse for a parent to leave their spouse for someone else? How often is it used to leave a mother alone to raise a baby? How often is it used for a mother to take her babies to live with another man? And does a decision that causes your children pain ever really make you happy? I know you think it will. If you can just get rid of this jerk and go be with your soul mate, you will be happier which will make your kids happy. Hmmmm…
That’s not the only example. It’s just the one I keep seeing everywhere. If our decisions hurt other people, or cause us to do what we know is wrong (even if we are able to justify it for a short time), we will not have that happiness that we are so desperate to find. I bet you’ve already experienced this in your life. I have. So, let’s stop. Let’s flip the script. Let’s rebel against buying the lie that we need to “do what makes us happy.” Let’s do what is RIGHT instead. Let’s do what’s responsible, what’s charitable and let’s honor our commitments. And then, instead of our grand kids remembering us and saying something like “He always did what made him happy” maybe they will say “She did the right thing. She was an honorable woman. She sacrificed for others.”
Don’t you think?