Saturday, May 14, 2011

About happiness

M. – I can see how happy you feel today!
W. – Really? How can you see that much?
M. – Your smile. Your radiating face. And your eyes are shinning.
W. – And all that makes you assume that I am happy?
M. – All that put together, yes.
W. – Well, I don’t know what to say. Maybe it’s a mask that I decided to wear today or at this moment…
M. – No. There is a physical radiance in your face, in your behavior, it means that you are feeling great, that you are happy. You cannot fake happiness. 
W. – You are so clever. But maybe it’s just that: a physical radiance. I slept very well last night, the weather is splendid, my body is in tune with Mother Nature.
M. – And you feel good too, it’s not just your body that loves it.
W. – Hmm… Maybe you are right.
M. – You disagree?
W. – No. I mean, what can I say? I am not happier today than I was yesterday. Yet you didn’t make any remark about my well being yesterday, did you?
M. – Maybe not. I don’t remember. Maybe I wasn’t very talkative yesterday.
W. – Can you really have a correct idea of someone’s mood just by looking at her physical appearance and behavior? Is it clear enough to let other people know how we feel, what we think? Come on.
M. – That’s a good question. Most of the time it's how it works, it’s true. We look at someone’s behavior or physical appearance and we interpret it. Since we can’t go inside another person’s mind to learn what they think or how they feel, interpreting their behavior, reading them from outside is the only way we have of getting some information about them.
W. – I understand. But it’s risky, isn’t it? To live that way can even become dangerous. We may come to misleading conclusions. We may totally miss the point. The relationship between behavior, physical appearance and their meaning is a fragile one. I can easily imitate others and myself. I may feel one thing and want you to understand that I feel something that I don’t feel at all. Isn’t life about playing games all the time? You should be careful. 
M. – Maybe you are right. I mean, what you say makes a lot of sense. Yet I am convinced that today you are feeling very well, that you had a great day and are a happy girl.
W. – Well, again I don’t know what to say. I don’t think I can talk much about it right now, anyway. Maybe tomorrow I will explain to you something that will contradict your belief in the way behavior and happiness can relate. 
M. – Do it now. Tell me. What’s going on? Prove to me that your face, your eyes and your smile are lying. I am curious. I refuse to believe it.
W. – Hmmm...  Ok, here it is. I just met a man I loved many years ago and again it all ended in an outrageous discussion.  He will never accept the responsibility for his behavior. He keeps saying that I ruined our relationship and is mad at me because, he says, I destroyed forever his belief in love.
M. – And you disagree…
W. – Well, that’s exactly what I think he did: he ruined our relationship with his unfunded suspicions. First, he never believed that I loved him. Second, the truth is that he never loved me.
M. – Oh, I’m sorry to hear you say that.
W. – Don’t be. I am fine. I am done with him and all his unfair criticism. He can go to hell.
M. – You didn’t seem affected by what happened anyway. You looked astonishingly well when I first saw you today. It’s only now that you talk about it that you seem a bit disturbed.
W. – Oh, never mind. I am fine, I told you. Didn’t you tell me that I looked happy?  So, maybe I was happy and I was not aware of how well I was feeling.
M. – You are funny. You women are very funny indeed.
W. – Am I? Don’t tease me. I am not funny. I am happy.  You said it, didn’t you?
M. – I am sorry. Now I have to say that you are not happy at all.
W. – No, I am not happy. Can you feel happy when everything you did to make a relationship work failed? What is love about, anyway? Maybe you can tell me. I am so ignorant.
M. – You surprise me. I don’t know what to say. It seems that my understanding of human behavior can indeed be totally misleading.
W. – Maybe not, after all, who knows? Do I still look great?
M. – Sure. Not as much as before, but you still look wonderful.  
W. – I am tired. I better go home. See you tomorrow. Will you come tomorrow?

M. – Ok, folks. Cut. Prepare for next scene, please.
W. – Was it good enough this time?

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