Joy to Some of the World
My friend Valerie Alexander, who writes about happiness and has a best-selling book, Happiness...as a Second Language, has a wonderful article on the Huffington Post that's unlike most you will read on the subject of happiness. I've written about Valerie in the past, and what I like about her work is that she does have this unique perspective about happiness extremely different from others.
The piece is titled, "Let's Ban Weddings, and While We're at It, Baby Showers Too."
Hey, I told you that it's unlike most you will read about happiness! But it's wonderful, upbeat, ultimately very positive, and has over 100 comments as I write this, most of which are raves. There are definitely some critical responses, which Valerie noted to me, though as I said to her, "Hey, if you're going to write an article about banning weddings and baby showers, you'd darn well better expect that some people might not like that..."
What I tend to love about her perspective on happiness is that it's not all about smiling and giving hugs to everyone and platitudes of joy-joy and everything treacly and light. Rather, she writes about finding what has value and meaning and enriching your life with that, which is not only what will bring happiness, but substantive and long-lasting happiness.
As her notes, she isn't really against all weddings and baby showers, but rather perspective. And noting that the wedding ceremony should be far less important that the marriage itself. And that throwing a blow-out gala to honor someone for graduating school might have more meaning than to give someone a bassinet She makes some very interesting points, too, about making decisions that you'd still approve of 10-15 years later.
Anyway, at the very least, it's an extremely interesting point-of-view, but just as important it's wonderfully written and fun to read. You can check it out it here.
12/18/2013 04:15:33 am
Bob, you are such a great guy! Thank you for this article, and for "getting it." A small handful of people are accusing this article of being bitter, or shaming pregnant teens, but it's about so much more than that. It's about focusing on lasting, permanent happiness, which comes from good life choices, and sometimes takes hard work, or making a difficult decision. Yeah, I think I may be the least cuddly Happiness author out there, but I guess that's okay. You're awesome, btw!
12/18/2013 04:34:53 am
Valerie, "Get it R Us." It is a wonderful article. I'm glad you noted that it was a "small handful" who missed the point. Because I skimmed through the comments -- of which there were over 100 -- and almost all were praising it. As for some people missing the point, trust me, from 700 Huffington Posts, there will be people who miss the point. I once wrote a parody of people wanting to build a fence on the U.S.- Mexican border, and did it from the perspective of people in Illinois wanting to build a fence on the Indiana border to keep *them* out, and "some people" took it seriously. No, really.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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