Illusive. Right?

Yes, yes it is. Happiness is illusive. Real. Beautiful. Bright. But illusive, transient, fragile—like a soap bubble. Round and clear and perfect—until it pops. Right?

What makes people happy? Where I come from, it’s good grades. Finding out your team won. Getting a project completed. Hanging out with friends. Reading a good book. A stellar Broadway performance. A trip to the circus. A blockbuster movie. Winning a video game. Christmas. Big things. Right?

People tend to make fun of individuals who are—and I quote—“easily amused.” By “easily amused” they mean the people who can stare for long times at a piece of string, or contentedly fill fifteen minutes of down time just by swinging a key chain around on a finger. It is often assumed that these people simply have nervous habits, are fidgety, or, as is most often implied, are a little bit dim.

This is an unfair assumption. But this unfair assumption stems from the heinous and widespread idea that in order to be happy, one must gain much.

Think about it. People equate money with happiness. Fame with happiness. Beauty with happiness. They think that if only they could have this, do that, go here, experience that—then they will be truly happy.

Now look at history. Marilyn Monroe had the big three: fame, money, and looks. But was she happy? Do happy people kill themselves?

But when I look at really happy people—genuinely happy people—they are the people who are, to borrow a phrase, “easily amused.”

They grin into their coffee cups because they love the taste so much. They reach out their hands to the rain to feel the raindrops tickling their skin. They stop in their tracks to watch a butterfly drink from an azalea blossom and that is easily the high point of the day. They can hold a cheap plastic fake crystal key chain up to the light and smile because the way the light hits it, shattering the sunlight into a thousand rainbow shards, is truly beautiful.

“Easily amused” people are not simpletons—they are content. Content with the little things. And they have the extraordinary ability to enjoy all of the little beautiful things that add up to make the one big beautiful thing that’s called LIFE.

Without contentedness, a person will give their lifeblood to getting what they think they want, sacrificing people, relationships, love, and life itself along the way. Too many people are blind to the reality that everything they need to be happy is already right in front of them. Too many people can’t see past the ends of their noses. And they snub those who can as being just too “easily amused.”

So. Happiness. Is it attainable? Yes. Does it last? Maybe. Maybe not.

But if we open our eyes, open our ears, reach out our hands, breathe deeply, open our mouths and taste and see that life is good…

Then happiness is ours for the taking.

Happiness and lasting joy.