In these days of confinement, when the media constantly presents us with the dramatic situation in which we find ourselves at the moment, I would rather speak of “happiness“.
In this regard, I contact my dear friend Alessandro Bigarelli via Skype and I engage in an interesting conversation with him.
– Drrrrr… drrrr.
– Alessandro hello! How are you? A question, this one, which especially at this moment acquires an exponential value!
– And there it is !!! Hi Pier! I’m happy to see you !
– (… slow WIFI connection… please wait …)
– I feel you sometimes …
– Wait, I’ll stop! There is probably a better connection here! This is normal among other things in this period of total isolation, the network is congested
– Ok now I hear you! So I called you to hear from you and to discuss with you a fairly well-known status: happiness.
– Very interesting subject! Wait, I’m getting comfortable because it seems to last a long time.
– As a prelude I tell you this nice sentence:
“Happiness is like a butterfly: if you chase it, you can never catch it, but if you stay calm, it can also rest on you.”
But what is happiness?
What does it mean to feel happy?
Talking about happiness is a bit like discussing the sex of angels. Happiness is when it is there, that is to say that you feel happy because you are happy, but also because you are overwhelmed by the happiness of those around you. Making happiness a philosophical (someone tried it) or psychological (in this case, we avoid the term and we prefer to speak of joy) category leads nowhere, except for absolute pleasure for small things, for what it gives inner well-being. In short, happiness depends on conditions perceived as positive. At a certain time in your life, when socio-economic conditions allow it, if you live in a healthy and fulfilling family and relationship context or if you make loneliness a strong point, happiness does what you need, by accepting at the same time things as they are. The big scam that happiness brings with it lies in its short duration, in its being an unconscious feeling, because, at the very moment when we ask ourselves “but am I really happy?”, happiness turns its back on us and is blurring. From this paradoxical condition of happiness, the three comedians Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo even made it the title and the common thread of one of their successful films, “Ask me if I am happy”. It is a contradiction, completely humorous or tragicomic. If you feel happy, why ask others the intimate truth of this state? Lots of answers. Because we are afraid of not (never) being happy, because we are convinced that happiness misses us and that it only affects others, because we do not know exactly what it is really happiness that permeates our senses and our spirit. As with found and not sought art, happiness should not be sought through unnecessary questions. If we ask ourselves what happiness is or if we ask friends, lovers, acquaintances if they see us happy, it means that we want to listen and that we are told only one answer, yes or not, and we are not at all interested in the problem and the content of the answer: here and now I am happy, or I am not happy. And in a minute, in an hour, tomorrow will be a whole different matter.
How is it perceived by men and women?
Human beings live life as a set of cycles of success in which things happen and flourish and cycles of failure in which everything seems to shrink and disintegrate. At a certain age, perhaps after fifty, and even a little further back in time, we are able to let things go to make way for the birth of new things or their transformation. In this, women are certainly better: they know how to forgive and try to give up their brooding (regrets and grudges). Probably men too, but there can be no scientific certainty: they are better equipped to withstand life. In this way, for both men and women, we can speak of happiness as a state of grace, serenity, lightness. In other words, the happiness of a fifty-year-old child no longer depends on the fact that things, people and living conditions must be in a certain way and positive. The things, people and conditions that are deemed necessary for our happiness flow and flow in and out of us without any effort on our part, and we feel free to appreciate them and appreciate them as long as they last.
After the age of 50, we allow ourselves the new serenity to accept things, we go fishing to have the courage to change them and we find ourselves wiser and more open to differences. To do this, female congenital mental qualities are necessary. Qualities such as moral integrity, kindness, patience and a certain amount of humility. Rather, the male counterpart achieves the same goal through inner peace. Continuous and correct meditation, for example, has shown in some studies the increased activity of telomerase in immune cells. Since the enzyme produced preserves the length of the telomer, the terminal region of the DNA strands, it is possible to deduce a longer duration of the cells involved, that is to say a longer lifespan. Isn’t happiness, however defined and conceived, one of the elements of long life?
Nobody therefore has the recipe for happiness, which has no gender or number: happiness is one and many things, it is feminine and masculine. Everyone has to face their interior-exterior pilgrimage to reach it, but to reach what? Happiness is conquered? If this is the case, then we are dealing with a socio-existential process and mechanism. Or rather, on the contrary, should happiness be considered as a state and a condition which, as such, are destined to disappear when they are least expected? After all, the only obstacle to happiness is the fear of death, the fear of suffering for oneself and for those we love, themes that emerge with anger and vigor at an advanced or mature age, all that you want. Happiness and love, another combination that too often takes different directions. But love is still involved, indeed, after 50 years, the human being feels that absolute love is expressed only in calm and peace of mind: we were born to socialize and live happily together. Nothing new under the sun. The practices of all oriental theosophy and the hippies of the 60s already practiced and preached compassion, kindness of heart and universal love.
Everything is very beautiful. All of this is very impressive. But for a woman and a man who are easily over fifty, happiness, in the end, is nothing other than a model of well-being, summarized in a few lines, which knows no gender difference:
- self-acceptance by maintaining a positive attitude towards life
- desire for personal growth and perception of the possibility of being able to change constantly
- feeling of autonomy and independence in thought, actions and with regard to social pressures
- recognition and mastery of internal resources and know how to manage them competently
- maintain or start satisfactory relationships
- obtaining one or more life goals by giving oneself goals supported by convictions in order to be able to give meaning and direction to its existence.
Whether you have the maturity of fiftieths or you have the virgin naivety of a Juliet of fourteen, happiness comes to us in the smile and in the eyes of those we love and we shine as a result of our inner light.