“Being not unhappy”

4 03 2009

SOMETIMES THERE’S nothing like a text message – that comes in to your inbox even before the sun breaks free and through the clouds – to really provoke one’s thought…  shake up a sleepyhead…  cause a pregnant pause…  and stir emotions that have better remained undisturbed.  I got such one today.


What for you is the difference between being happyandbeing not unhappy’.”


Pregnant pause.


And rightfully so, because before this person asked me about this, I realize that I have never given a conscious effort to look deep within me to check if I am happy.  Or just not unhappy.  I didn’t feel the need to ever compartmentalize my life like this.  Not even close to thinking about ever having the need to tick either one of these labels, if ever they would come on a form to fill out about my life.


For me, I see it this way.  Being happy is assertive.  If I’d use grammar as an analogy, I will go out on a limb and say that being happy is “active.”  It is active in the sense that the subject (myself) is the doer of the action (being happy).  And when you are indeed being happy, you are in control of the situation that is making you happy.  You are involved.  You are most likely in a deep state of enjoyment, and you show marked signs of joy and pleasure.


Being not unhappy does come across to me as just being “passive.”  When someone is being not unhappy, it could only mean that there is most likely nothing that they can do about the situation they are in.  And in order to mitigate the pain(?) – stop the bleeding, so to speak – from such situation, the course of last resort could be to not be unhappy about it.


That’s it.  That’s my take.  I guess I have been “being not unhappy” and back, to know enough that being not unhappy is just euphemism for “sad but trying not to.”


What about you, what do you think?





Someone who just read this post asked me if this is a sequel to “fall.”  Not really.  But if you think about it…


Sometimes you fall… and end up being not unhappy.


So there!





7 responses

4 03 2009

This topic reminds me of a time when I asked my father the difference of Hapiness and Joy, which I think is somewhat related.

My father said that Hapiness and Joy are two different emotions experienced by two separate persons in you – your body and your soul.
Hapiness is a heightened emotion actively felt by the body, triggered by an outside stimulus (being praised for a job well done, an unexpected gift, a good hangout, your first kiss, etc.). Hapiness is not felt without a reason, following the law of cause and effect. Being just an effect, means that it does not stay permanent on a person. It fades away, just like the law of utiliity and usage in economics. Once the stimulus has satisfied yoou, it loses its utility and you lose the feeling of hapiness. Hapiness is just a temporary feeling

Joy, on the other hand, is a not just a feeling, it is a character mirrored from the soul. Joy doesn’t need an outside stimulus but is like a fire burning from within, fueled by the soul itself. Being a form of a character, it is permanent to the person, but needs time, motivation, and maturity to develop. It is also unchanged even in the raging attacks of the worst situation, the reason why a person can calmly smile in the midst of death, agony, and despair. It is the thing that I think, makes a person not unhappy when everything around him should have made him that way. Joy is permanent – it is a character of the soul.

Although this is not originally my idea, I have sticked to these principles my father taught me from that day on.


4 03 2009

couldn’t agree more partner!

we all have the power to make our lives a happy one though sometimes we get stuck in situations where we can only do so much…and when that happens, the most we can do is choose not be unhappy….

after all, happiness is just a state of mind – let’s all choose to be happy! 🙂


4 03 2009
eyes only

bossing enteng, may bago ka nanamang post… thought-provoking pa, ha…

this question reminds me of the latest The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) episode that i downloaded (pero di pa napapanood)…

in this episode, one of the (nerd) male leads asked the female lead to sit in another portion of the couch because she (constantly) sits in “his side” of the couch (you have to watch the show to get this joke). rather than argue with him, she just moved.

she then asked him, “are you happy now?”, to which he replied, “i am not unhappy”.

Anyway, I’ll try to answer your question in the way that I think Sheldon will (he’s the “nerdiest” of the group) …:)

the answer depends on situation on the person…

imagine that for some reason, a person wants a very magical fruit but he is trapped in a deep dungeon near the magical tree …

now, imagine also that for a brief moment, either the person was freed from the dungeon but found the tree cut down OR the magical fruit “appeared” magically on top of the dungeon but the person can’t reach it…

in either situation, he will be NOT unhappy…brief moments wherein one appears to have control over the situation… being happy is when one actually have it…

ngayon, kami naman dito sa cube ang may tanong?

How will you “define” Serendipity –

Finding nothing when you’re looking for something OR finding something when you are not looking for anything 🙂


4 03 2009
v(*-*)v Lei

hmmm agree with the “passive and active” analogies… being not unhappy is like putting a happy face mask on… you have to peek beneath the mask to see the ‘real’ thing 🙂
hehe:) “minsan hindi ako nakamaskara!” 😉


4 03 2009

very nice reactions so far… someone asked me after reading this post if this is a sequel to “fall.” not really. but if you think about it…

sometimes you fall… and end up being not unhappy.

so there!


4 03 2009
Crying Freeman

This is a nice topic Enteng… Haven’t really given much thought on the difference of “being happy” and “being not happy”.

I try to always over-simplify things and to not concern myself on the way words are joined to form something meaningful. So to me, the two just mean the same thing.

But putting that aside, I like your take on the subject. Being proactive in happiness always makes sense!

Thanks. Good post.


4 03 2009

so where’s the food or the wristwatch in this blog? *laughs* i’m totally trying to connect whether you’re happy or just being not unhappy with your new extravagant-sparkling-silver NEW wristwatch, but I failed. *Laughs*

but seriously, i want to share so many thoughts on this topic but i really don’t know where to start. So I’ll try making my TOP 3:

1. To find “HAPPINESS”, never ever compare yourself. Because once you started comparing, you will start feeling unhappy. It is but normal that people compare themselves and see mostly the things they don’t have. Contentment is a BIG factor to achieve “HAPPINESS”. But some people loves comparing themselves to others and see what they have that others don’t. You might ask, is that “Happiness”, i think not! Because ‘at the end of the day’, they will find out that it’s not enough, that they want more. Where’s contentment in that?

2. “HAPPINESS” is a state of mind. It is but normal to people to have “RULES” deep in their mind. They have this thought that “People should be…” and “People should not be…” that’s why when they encounter people that do not pass their criteria, they are pissed off. Have you ever encountered this, you were waiting all day in a line then one of the people in front of you saw one of his friends and let him cut into the long line. A thought is provoked in your mind saying, “what the hell is this guy doing in front of me, I waited so long standing in this forsaken line then this guy just let his friend slide in?!!” At the moment you think so, you are defeated. Defeated by your thought. Then you start to be unhappy. I’d rather stay away from the thought that people should follow an invisible law that i myself created. “But I would never do that! I will respect the person following me and not let my friend cut in line even though he’s really a close friend of mine.” Yes, I guess that correct, but the sad truth is, not all things will go your way, not all people will follow those secret law in your mind. If you start a fight then afterwards what will you feel? you feel mad… more unhappy.

3. The Happiest Person on earth is the person who see himself in the future and see the same way as he is now. You think love is the greatest feeling, I think not… Happiness is.



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