As long as I can remember, happiness is when one is free to do whatever he/she wishes. It's like an instinct when feelings and senses have enhanced the likely satisfaction of a desire. It's a natural instinct that requires no planning. Happiness happens!
Children are happy when they are free to play with their favourite toys. They are not so happy when told otherwise. And children would soon learn that sometimes, playing with one's favourite toys is not always as happy.
So as we grow, we learn the reasons behind times when playing is not happiness and when they are. That is, we have learned how to reason our instincts as a natural process. And this process requires a parent or guardian to lead us through.
When we are no longer children, we are expected to have a fair idea of what makes us happy and what doesn't. And we would recall a reason behind a time when playing is not happiness. Maybe when we caught the flu that we are not allowed to play with other children because the flu may spread to them.
And our knowledge of reason begins to accumulate our skills. We associate unhappiness with not playing and with the flu and spreading the virus. It's simple logic with a valid conclusion.
However, as we grow a bit more, we come across people who seem to be doing the opposite of our reasoning. They play whether they have the flu or not or whether allowed or not.
Our natural instincts would urge us to join them, but our reasoning would remind us of the negative consequences of catching the virus.
If we join them then we are going against our values, and if we don't join them then we are separating ourselves and in isolation.
Now, we can add joining a group or having company and friends as part of happiness and separation and isolation is unhappiness. The trouble is, we live together not in the same homes but in the same village, community and society.
So in order to share values as others that are different, we tend to come together when we have similar values and separate when not. When we do this, we develop and establish social relations. And social relations are maintained by sharing similar and common values.
Ok, life was happiness when we were young, things were straightforward and simple. Now as adults, it's all back to front.
In our journey we have learned that Happiness is freedom and being a member of a group. Freedom is either keeping values in isolation of one group, or breaking protocols in becoming a member of another group.
We have one society of smaller communities; one community is organised by people sharing the same values and another community where individuals are organised by sharing the opposite values. Then we might also have another community where both values are shared.
Well, you know, the truth is those values and their opposites are the real reasons behind discriminations, racism and demonisation of the human race.
So, to try and bridge the difference between various groups, we look at the basic fundamentals of Happiness. That's freedom and being a member of a group. And when social relations of these groups are validated, Happiness is a free citizen within the boundaries of society.
One thing is for sure, Happiness may not be achieved without freedom. And freedom is either sharing the same values of the one group, or breaking the values of the one group in order to join the other, and or finding similar values of both groups.
However, one cannot really be free tip toeing between the boundaries of different groups. Others have taken advantage of differences to claim a double dip by being a member of several groups. And then we have Equity and Diversity. So to be a free member of all three groups might require one to have more than one ethnicity and more than one gender.
Or, we could look at what's universal among differences. Unfortunately, we have been here before, but unilateral and bilateral leadership demand privileged distinctions from the rest. But we are almost there.
Societies, nations and the world have urgent needs of responsibility. South Africa has shown us the way. It identified Omicron variant and warned the world about its potentials knowing the outcome could mean isolation. It's an act of freedom when sacrificed its economy for the world. And that's where freedom merits a virtue of organisation.
Freedom is the responsibility to do the right thing. And when societies, nations and the world is free to do what is right, Happiness is Universal.