Today, happiness is seen as the number of smiles that exist on faces each day. But when the mask is peeled away and the truth remains, happiness is so much more. Regular happiness is temporary, but underneath the smiling mask, one can find the true joy of a human being.
Director of Christian Life Greg Lisson said, “Normal happiness is circumstantial and is about what is going on in your life at that moment. Whether it be eating a good meal or hanging out with friends, that kind of happiness is temporary as opposed to joy.” Lisson continued, “Joy is something that exists deeper and is impervious to circumstances; it is much more about who you are than what you have or what you can do.”
Lisson emphasizes the importance of God in relation to joy and talks about how these components give power to deeper truths. He said, “There is a joy that comes from knowing who God is, not just what He has done for me lately. Joy comes from knowing God and recognizing His presence—knowing that He himself is more valuable than what he can give me.”
A few high school students were asked what happiness and joy mean to them. Senior Peter Hess said, “Happiness to me is doing what you enjoy, and true joy would be being completely content with yourself and what you are doing in life.” Sophomore Avyonce Carter said, “Happiness is going through your day without any worries, and joy is not caring what others think about you and when you are not holding anything back.”
When addressing these two topics in humanity, there are varying answers because everybody has a different worldview and philosophy for life.
The answers for understanding happiness and how humans can achieve it lies below the surface of humanity. When asked to define the key to happiness Junior Savannah Sommer said, “The key to happiness is doing what you love, accepting the things that you cannot change and being okay with that.” The key to joy depends on the deeper truths within someone’s disposition. Like Lisson said, it can either be finding joy within God or answering the profound questions about oneself.
Whether it be at school or outside of school, understanding how you become happy and how you become joyful is imperative. By defining what these two terms mean to you, it becomes a lot easier to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “How can I attain normal happiness and joy within myself?”