Happiness is…

by Evans Yonson

(Note: Starting 1 December until the end of this month, I will be writing about topics suggested by my former students from the Philippines. The topics are arranged in a manner that they popped up in my screen when I started asking for their thoughts and opinions. To solicit their ideas, I had to entice that a FCBarcelona football team jersey awaits the winning blog-entry suggestion with the highest hits. Fair enough, I got numerous suggestions that could last me another month. Today’s entry was suggested by Mai Paylaga.)

Barcelona – When I was in senior high school, my Jesuit English professor taught us many things about essay writing. I always credit Father Danny Huang, SJ for all his wonderful ideas. One of our exercises was to finish a line. Something like Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip, Peanuts. One of the characters, Charlie Brown was asked what to him is happiness. His reply was remarkable, thoughtful and innocent ideas that as adults we seldom and sometimes refuse to see. Below is the video from the album, You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. I found this vinyl album in Manila and bought more than two dozens and I gave it to my dearest students.

From the album, You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

What really is happiness to me?

Happiness is waking up every morning, safe, sound, and healthy. Happiness is knowing that I am loved by everyone around me, not even distance can deter that feeling. Happiness is walking to the gym and appreciating the cold weather. Happiness is running endlessly and tirelessly as I sweat it out among healthy-conscious people. Happiness is finishing an hour’s run and feeling relieve of the daily stress. Happiness is preparing my lunch and being thankful that I have something to eat when others don’t. Happiness is sitting in my throne in the toilet. Happiness is being in the library and seeing my favorite spot empty and waiting for me. Happiness is the weekend coming. Happiness is seeing my friends on weekends. Happiness is seeing my favorite city filled with tourists and locals on a weekend.

Happiness is taking lunch/dinner with family. Happiness is posing and taking funny pictures with my siblings and nephews and nieces. Happiness is going to the farm on a weekend. Happiness is traveling with my loved-ones. Happiness is smiling. Happiness is sleeping. Happiness is coming together and talking endlessly. Happiness is saying I-love-you and conveying it very well. Happiness is a phone call from somewhere else. Happiness is an email. Happiness is a simple greeting on a Facebook wall. Happiness is a real greeting card through the post office. Happiness is knowing that many hands have held that greeting card to reach me. Happiness is tearing the card open and be surprised that it’s from a a very dear friend. Happiness is simply thinking about friends.

Happiness is sharing what you have without expecting anything in return. Happiness is making someone smile. Happiness is seeing someone learn from you. Happiness is the feeling of contentment at the end of the day.

Happiness is a lot of things that I see everyday, in you and me.