The noblest art is that of making others happy – P.T. Barnam
I have been told that I take life very seriously. I believe that this is something my close friends admire in me, and I believe it to be a very important virtue that I want others to emulate.
I believe that there are subtle differences in the types of happiness we find – entertainment, laughter, joy, security, relief from a previous suffering. These are all powerful in different ways. I often find myself asking questions about what comes along with each happiness.
When we are entertained by the blood and gore of horror films, what does that say about how much we value life? If we are entertained by viewing murder so much, why not just do it ourselves? What are we promoting by allowing that to be our entertainment? Or Laughter, what are we laughing at? Is it one of many jokes in popular stand up acts that play on cultural stigmas, like women can’t drive, or overweight people can’t control themselves around food? What are we reinforcing by allowing ourselves to find humor in that? Is the absence of suffering alone enough to call happiness? Are we able to be truly sustainably happy if our lives are not secure financially or our futures are scary and unknowable?
I’ve very much latched on to one idea of my friend’s about the word joy. He said,
joy happens in moments of happiness which come at no expense.
I picture the pure joy of running through a grassy field on a windy day. I imagine looking into the face of someone I love for the first time in the morning, and realizing with wonder that they are there with me in my life. When we can bring an appreciation of these things to others, that is a noble art.
So I think that I would rephrase this sentiment.
The noblest art is that of bringing others joy.