Imagine you are heading toward school on a cool Friday morning. You see your friends and share a laugh, joyful that it’s the last school day of the week. You know you have a final in fourth period that counts for much of that particular class’s grade, but you’ve studied long and hard, feeling confident that you’ll pass it with an A. However as the school day begins, you begin to have one unpleasant experience after the other; fourth period comes around and you completely bomb your test. Not only have you tanked your grade in that class, but you’re also yelled at and scolded by your parents upon your arrival home for your poor work. Obviously this has been an extremely unfortunate day for you but at the end of it all……are you happy?
For most people the answer to this question is inevitable and unavoidable. “How could you not be upset if you care about your grades?” they ask. Certainly if one is coping with their own failure in something, they have reason to be upset and sad, right? Sure they do. But the answer to that question leads to one of far more importance: do they have to feel defeated in that situation? Is it unavoidable? In “Oedipus at Colonus”, Oedipus acts as if he isn’t capable of happiness, for the misfortunes he’s suffered are too great. However, I hold that happiness is not a state of being, but a choice. In each and every moment of our lives, we make choices, large and small, using these choices to try to orient ourselves toward everyone’s common goal: happiness. How you react to the products of your choices is just as important as the choices you make themselves. So why not try to make the best of things? If you can choose to be happy, why not take that option every time? The choice is yours…
PS- This quote from “Ferris Beuler’s Day Off” sums it up pretty well (click video link):