By Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie
March 20 is International Day of Happiness, a day set aside by the UN to reflect on the import-ance of happiness in people’s lives.
Most of the Sustainable Development Goals were actually esta-blished for the wellbeing and happiness of people around the world. An annual survey issued on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 rated Finland as the world’s happiest country with Burundi at the bott-om. Nigerian stands at the 91st position, whereas in 2011 Nigeria was rated the happiest country in the world.
Reflecting on this celebrat-ion, one may ask, is it really possible – to be happy in the midst of adversity and economic meltdown? Can one derive happiness in poverty and scarcity? How can we find happiness in a world where people are not just hungry but angry—a world where people are becoming so aggressive due to hardship. How can we derive joy in our sorr-owful and painful society? Can we really find happi-ness in a world where peo-ple are kidnapped, raped and even killed without any remorse.
Can we find happiness in a country like Ni-geria where everyone is co-mplaining of hunger – a country where money is no longer in cir-culation but in the hands of few greedy ind-ividuals? Can we still cele-brate a day of happiness in a country that is flowing with tears and blood? By the way, how can we talk of happiness in a country where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; a country where young graduates are jobless and homeless. How do you expect work-ers and pensioners to be happy when they are not receiving their salaries as at when due?
These ugly situation in Nigeria notwithstanding, happiness remains an ult-imate goal. Most of the things we do in life are geared towards happi-ness. People struggle to get money because they want to be happy. They go about searching for a good life partner because they want to enjoy a happy married life. All the major celebrations in the world are qualified with happi-ness. For instance, Happy Christmas!
Happy Easter, Happy New Year! and even Happy Salah! This shows that happiness is indeed the essence of our cele-bration. Our celebrations are empty without happi-ness. And our final journey here on earth is incomple-te without eternal happi-ness.
Jesus Christ taught his dis-ciples the importance of happiness. He even taught them the secret of happi-ness in adversity. He dec-lares, “Truly I say to you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy” (John 16:20). As long as our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned, we will not remain in pains forever.