Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Causing Happiness

"Here's your Christmas present" said Daniel.

"Thanks." I said, taking the clumsily wrapped package from him. "I don't want to be your girlfriend anymore."

"Oh." He said. "Okay."

(I can hear you calling me a biatch down the interweb tubes y'know.)

I walked home, a five minute journey from school to my house, feeling ashamed and absolutely horrible and experiencing, for the first time, the emotional pain that was to do with hurting someone else.

I was nine. And although our childish boyfriend-girlfriend enactment wasn't real - how can it be at nine - that moment has stuck with me.

It's a peculiar thing - hurting people. Often it's done without intention: a passing remark is taken as a purposeful dig; an action is perceived as deliberately unkind; an inaction is seen as careless or cruel.

And when you think about it, there are so many ways you can hurt others, intentionally or unintentionally. I think about it a lot.

And then the light shone forth upon the land and she realized she needed to stop being so lame and do something about it.

Lately, instead of dwelling on the idea of hurt, I've been considering the opposite: thinking of ways I can make people happy.

Yes. Happy. Happiness. (Off topic but that reminds me, it really irritates me that that film with Will Smith is spelled The Pursuit of Happyness. Ack.)

One of things I plan to do is tell people why I love them. Because often I think about it, but I don't say it. And then I think, oh I must tell that person one day. Because it would mean a lot to them. And that day never seems to come. And one day it will be too late. And the thought of the hurt and guilt I'd feel for leaving it too late scares the crap out of me.

(Are you reaching for the tissues yet?)

It sounds obvious, simple, but how often in your life have you actually taken the time to think about and write down all the things you like and appreciate about someone close to you? Me - maybe never? (I suck)

And actually it's something I've learned from blogging - how much it means to be actually told you're good at something, or you make me laugh, or you've really made me think about this subject. To be actually told out loud, on paper, by email, or whatever. It means something.

For instance, recently I've been thinking about how much I love and respect my parents, and how, now that I have kids of my own, I understand and appreciate what they went through as parents. But I've never said it out loud - it's one of those things that's assumed, but not said.

I probably won't do it in person, or on the phone, because I'm not that brave. But I will record it on paper, because that's what I do better. And that way they'll have a record of it too.

What about you? Do you ever feel the need to spread the happiness (note correct spelling)?
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Mwa said...

Oh, I do, yes, I do. More and more each day. It's not always appreciated in the frosty social clime that is Flanders, though.

Chandra said...

It's funny how it's just 'assumed' say with your parents. I don't say it and I suppse it's 'assumed' otherwise I wouldn't call my Mom once a week if not more...I NEVER remember my parents saying it when we(my three sisters and I) were little so I make sure to tell my husband and children EVERYDAY how much they mean to me and that I love them! (assuming they are listening to me!)

Metropolitan Mum said...

Another 1.5k miles trip next week with the baby - all in the name of spreading happiness (!). So yes, I do, too.

Sparkless said...

It's so much fun to spread happiness! We had a 60th birthday party for my mom and each of her kids told her something about her that always amazed them. We all started out with the line "Mom you amaze me because...."
We had my mom in tears and everyone else! It was a great way to tell our mom (there's 4 of us kids) how much we appreciated all that she did for us then and still does today.
There are a few people I need to tell I love them or make them happy so thanks for the reminder. And by the way your blog rocks and so do you!! ;p

James (SeattleDad) said...

If only everyone had this philosophy. Very well said LM. I have said this before, but yours is one of the blogs I most enjoy reading. Keep it up.

Lady Mama said...

Mwa - good for you for trying.

Chandra - same here - I tell my family lots.

Metropolitan Mum - wow, good luck with the trip!

Sparkless - what a wonderful idea. I love that. And thanks for the compliment!

James - Thanks so much for the nice comment! I appreciate it.

Maternal Tales said...

Oh you're totally spot on. There are far too many people who shy away from saying nice things...and why? Does it make them look silly or gushy? Of course not. It makes so much difference to everyone. So in the name of this post I shall say something are fab and I love reading your blog because it's honest and funny... Enough for today?? I'll be back soon x