I was originally going to write about another topic this evening, but upon scrolling through my Facebook news feed I saw something that sparked my interest to write about instead. A person had written a status about the negativity of people on Facebook. A friend of that person wrote a comment to it saying something along the lines of “Faith in God creates happyness” (for the record that’s how they spelled happiness too).
I have numerous items I could discuss related to religion, and in time will write a post with my own back story in organized religion and how I came to have the beliefs I now do today. One of the biggest things that upsets me that I regularly see, however, is the number of people who seem to directly tie pleasant emotion and gratitude to “God”.
Merriam-Webster defines emotion as the following: a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body
So inferring from that person’s post, belief in something that cannot be entirely proved or disproved, will make people happy. I do not disagree that for some people having faith is what they seem to need in life as it gives them direction and purpose. However, to say that statement as if it’s the only logical way to be happy is just absurd. The psychology of happiness is multifaceted with elements related to genetics, upbringing as a children, and environment just to name a few. If all it took to be happy was believing in some invisible being, well I do believe we’d see a large drop in the number of people who struggle with depression.
Even worse I find, is those who give credit to “God” for something that goes well in life or for “helping” them through a difficult time. Your luck or successes in life are attributed to you. Of course some people may very well just have “dumb luck”, but others have worked to attain their achievements. Why give credit for this to something other than yourself? On the other side when life’s a challenge why is it so wrong to give yourself credit for being strong? For pushing through life’s difficulties? Or even to just give credit to family and friends who were there for you? It honestly saddens me when I see people do this. It makes me want to write to them and say “You did this; you made it; you deserve the recognition for overcoming an obstacle.”
These same people tend not to ever blame “God” for the ill will thrown their way. If they do then it’s only to say that “God is challenging them”. No God is not “challenging” them, they’re simply following their path in life with its ups and downs like anyone else. While some people seem to have more obstacles to overcome than others, it doesn’t mean everyone else won’t face similar challenges in another life.
In short, being truly happy is not something that can be simplified by telling someone what to believe in or follow, and it’s sad that more people in this world don’t give themselves the credit they deserve for accomplishing goals or overcoming difficulties.