And they DID NOT live happily ever after

Why do all stories have to start with “Once upon a time” and end with “and they lived happily ever after”. It’s like every story has to be about the glorious past and its ending should always be about happiness, till the end of time. Who cares what the middle part has, which usually is nothing but drama in essence. All it has to have is a happy ending, to leave you on a happy note.

Our fondness for happiness in stories is like our quest for everlasting pleasure after drinking. It only takes less than 12 hours to realize that the happiness with drinking is not only limited but can turn out to be a grand streak of guilty pleasures. Yet, we won’t say no and we’ll certain go – to the next big party of drinks and drugs. Yes, we want happiness, even if we had to fool our brain into it. We like the drunken state of mind as it lets us be happy, regardless of its authenticity.

It may not be our strength, it may not be our weakness – it could be something, instilled in all of us.

Just think about the first time you took that book, off your shelf or the first story in class, told by your teacher. Every story you may have heard, may have been told differently, but all they had in common, is the goodness of life and lack of misery. Since then our mind, has been growing more and more, fond of happy stories, expecting that to be the final story, of us all.

If you don’t believe me, which you are likely, just think about your favourite character – it won’t be likely, that of a sad villain of a movie or a bad character of a cartoon. It’s always the dashing, pretty and the brave, whom we are fond of – that we think someday, we will become of. No wonder they enjoy endless admiration until they die.

Think about how many times we wanted to go to parties at night, again and again – multiple times. It’s not that we wanted to find work there or do any chore. Although we enjoyed a lot and got home late that night, but it only lasted for less than 24 hours on the clock.

What this tells me is that happiness is not eternal; it only lasts until we do something we enjoy but we can’t do something forever we enjoy. Look at the cute teddy couple in the image, sitting side-by-side as if they turned 60 together and are as happy as they were ever. We may like to imagine that for others, who seem perfect in pictures or in life, which we try to replicate in our own lives. The truth I think is happiness is just one aspect, of many others including sadness – that most won’t understand or just don’t want you to know. Nobody can be neither forever happy nor forever sad, let’s just take everything that comes to our way. There may be happy ending, there may be not, we’ll never know what our future states are.

More than ‘happily living after’, I think it is more important to live satisfied – however different our lives are.


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