“It’s a license to be happy,” he explained with a grin. “A lady came into our classroom today and gave one to each kid.”
He found it rather funny. Tony too. Who can give people licenses to be happy? They had been learning about feelings every now and then at school and that was alright, we all thought, though they were scandalized by a certain feeling that was presented to them as a legitimate one and defined as “ready to learn.” How could that be, they asked.
You can say we’re smug that way, but we talk about feelings a lot you see – yep, we think it acceptable in our house that contains wild rambunctious boys and all, or because of it. We chat about feelings, and do it old school style: you can feel happy, angry, sad, anxious, scared, but we all agreed that being ready to learn is a state of the mind and that’s that.
But license to be happy? I have always told the boys that happiness can only come from within ourselves. And it’s not easy to make it happen either. But if you let others be in charge of your happiness chances are you’ll end up unhappy. it might be that the ones you put in charge might not even know they are in charge of your feelings cargo to begin with.
I choose to see that license for what it is: A piece of paper with some colors on it. Come to think of it, the boys’ drawings are, most times, way more colorful. A sign of happiness if you ask me. Not that I think happiness should be a permanent state. Like all good things, too much can leave us slightly numb…
And slightly less able to know, and believe, that one’s happiness does not depend on anyone, nor should anyone else make theirs our responsibility. As finicky and volatile as it is, happiness is a worthy thing to discover and make happen. No license required. It’s implied. Thoughts?