I used to believe that there was a limited supply of happiness in the world. For far too long, I truly believed that my having any happiness at all snatched it from the life of someone else, someone who was probably far more deserving or in need of it. So, being the good person I am, I spent a lot of years feeling fairly miserable and guilty.
Until I finally had the big realization. Happiness? It’s not a seat on the bus, people! Graciously saying no thank you to your happiness doesn’t leave it available to anyone else.
Because, while the supply of it is unlimited, happiness is person-specific. My happiness, unclaimed, will do you no good at all. Your happiness, unclaimed, cannot be picked up by any other suffering soul.
So, please, get out there and claim your happiness. And if, in the middle of enjoying a moment, you find yourself thinking of the suffering millions, understand that your smile, your little bubble of ‘life is good’ isn’t actually adding to their misery.
Do the good you want to do in the world, yes. Be sensitive to the sorrows and sadness of those around you, absolutely. Be gracious in your happiness, yes.
But, for goodness’ sake, claim your happiness. You’re the only one who can.