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The Essence of Happiness

Once Denis Diderot said: “Happiest are the people who give most happiness to others”. However, there is a point in life of everybody when they ask themselves - what exactly is happiness? At this point there are many different opinions because this is a state of soul and it is personal. In a broad sense, saying happiness we mean the personal condition that is life in harmony with the outer and inner world; however, in its essence happiness is a multifaceted phenomenon. Each person defines it differently.

Therefore, we can say that it is subjective and relative. For some people, happiness lies in physical pleasures, for others - in self-development, or even in achieving the objectives. The French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot offers his own opinion. He believes that happiness lies in the man, and he is the happiest who gives happiness to others. It is hard to disagree with this statement, because life shows us that this is indeed the case.

In order to understand the sense, we need to ask what exactly meant Diderot by defining happiness in this way? Since the category of happiness is an abstract and relative, thus, it is not easy to select its components. Nevertheless, all people have a general idea of happiness, and how it can be shared. The main task – to understand how people can give it to each other, while making themselves happy.

I believe that there are many ways of making the other person happy. Aristotle used to link happiness directly with virtue, seeing in it not only the way to happiness, but also an important component of it. Thus, the more good deeds and intentions we emit, the more we get receive back, because our attitude toward people is usually reflected in their response. In a world of constant worries and hassles, we forget about the fact that we are surrounded by people who need attention and support, so you should not forget about the courtesy and kindness. Sometimes it happens that a little kind word said at the right time can restore take a man back to life and give him faith, and display of courtesy can raise other people's moods. If we start wishing happiness and well-being to others, then we will get what we actually wanted, because nature has its unwritten law, the law of “magnetism”: all the things that we give, we receive in return with time. Wishing good to the people around, we fill our proper life with positive thoughts. It is a given - thoughts have a unique feature to materialize. Experience shows that talking is much easier than acting; we need to try to let good action grow from the good ideas so that it grows further into a virtue. Good deeds always better stick in the memory, rather than kind words. But it should be kept in mind that good ideas are always the origin. Rejoicing in the success and well-being of others, we unintentionally help opening the door to personal happiness. Giving and sharing joy with others, we, first of all, give pleasure to ourselves.

The well-known nun, Mother Teresa, is probably the most striking example of the virtuous person that can be considered. She is known for her kindness and compassion. Mother Teresa was engaged in the service to the sick and the poor. She has created 160 welfare centers in India, including schools for the poor, hospitals, homes for the terminally ill. She considered her work as a “drop in the sea” and did not expect awards or praises. This life story very vividly illustrate the words of Diderot: “The desire to serve the common good must necessarily be the need of the soul, a condition for personal happiness.”

To summarize, the words of the great French philosopher, Denis Diderot, that the happiest is he who gives happiness to others, most fully reflect the essence of the category of happiness, in spite of the fact that there are many points of view on this. Giving joy and good to the people around us, we, first of all, make ourselves happier. Our life is a reflection of our actions. If we want it to be full of light and good, then we must do everything possible to make people smile, feel warmth and attention, thus making them happier.

Despite the fact that numerous philosophers tried to find the right definition of happiness, this concept stays personal. Denis Diderot claimed that that the one becomes happy under the condition of making happy people around him. He saw happiness as a reflection of personal action, thus it can be seen that happiness is partly dependant of the others. Nevertheless, Abraham Lincoln was convinced that being happy is not a state of mind, but rather a decision. If a man prefers to stay in sorrow – it is his personal choice, but if he wants to be happy, he will find the reasons and possibilities.

It is used to say that a book and a film based on it are always different, however, watching “My lovely bones”, it can be noticed that the producer was very close to the original story. First of all, the film managed to share the state of a father who was on the edge of madness. Secondly, the viewer feels hatred towards the maniac from the very first seconds she appears on the screen. Finally, it succeeded in proving the phrase – “you never know who will stab you in the back”.

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