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For the last few days I have been wishing people, and they have been wishing me, a HAPPY NEW YEAR. Before that we have been wishing each other a HAPPY or MERRY CHRISTMAS. What is this 'happiness' we've been wishing one another to experience?

Does everyone experience 'happiness' in the same way? Is there an obligation on the State or the Church, or other institution, to provide happiness for its people or am I myself responsible for achieving happiness by my own efforts and that it is my friends' wish that I have the strength to be able to do that? I can't recall experiencing during 2015 any particular 'happiness' or 'happinesses' that I had been wished. Is it because I simply failed in my own efforts to attain that happiness?

I ask myself: Is happiness the same thing as a state of continual well-being, love, pleasure, peace, joy, merriment, hilarity, good fortune, exhilaration, bliss, etc. If so, surely no one I know has achieved happiness. For Catholics, I know, the ultimate end and purpose of human existence is a "blessed happiness" or "Beatific Vision" and that in temporal life, the contemplation of God is the supreme delight and will be attained not in this life but in the next. Is this what I am been wished?

Does everyone experience happiness in the same way? What were those friends - or even strangers - who wished me a Happy Christmas or a Happy New Year really wishing for me? Could it have been close relationships, quantity of relationships, quality of relationships, or something else which could lead to happiness?


Merry means you are having a good time, with laughter and fun.

Happy means that there is no arguing or the cops getting called to a family event.
Considering that Christmas is a basically Christian feast perhaps we should not use the salutation "Merry Christmas" at all.
When I wish someone a Happy New Year, I'm basically performing what the Buddhists call the Metta Meditation, "May you be healthy, may you be free from suffering, may you be free from want, may you be at peace".

Merry Christmas means "have a jolly good time". Although I rarely say Merry Christmas except on Christmas Day, and prefer to say "enjoy your holiday", since for most people I know the holidays span a week or two of time off.
I would go along with that - provided it was sincerely offered.
Contentment is happiness for me.
But then how am I to understand "contentment"? People are seldom content with their situation.
I can only say I'm happy/ contented when I'm browsing the Internet with a cat on my lap and a cup of tea at my side. A good book or TV show makes me happy too, or seeing my friends and being with my cats.
"the happiness that is within self". How can I recognise it when I have received it? Will it mean the same to me as to you wishing it for me?
Thank you.
Happiness tends to be a state of contentment, and those who are content are not fractious or aggressive. Wishing you a Happy New Year means that I wish you a new year of contentment.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, which I usually don't do anyway since I'm not Christian, would have a different connotation to me - a more temporary function centered around a specific day.

There you have it, for what it's worth.

- Erulisse (one L)
as to Happy & Merry - words just words
sometimes said because they are the conventional thing to say but usually with some good feeling attached - sometimes meant as hope for the well being of the one spoken to

as to Happiness
the U S Declaration of Independence says there are inalienable rights to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

i assume Jefferson meant the things in life that gave one satisfaction
Perhaps Maslow and his hierarchy of needs best outlines that puesuit
I think that what would give satisfaction to most of those who call to my door begging is drink! Would not that be wishing them harm?
It's a good question:). I'm a Russian, in the Russian language happiness is a "simple" thing because the word "happiness" (счастье) is a conjugate with the word "part" (часть). In other words "to be happy" means "to be a part of something or to be with something/someone".
This would mean wishing the person to be involved in loving relationships. Yes, I think I would go with that.

С новым годом

Edited at 2016-01-03 09:16 (UTC)
You have a habit of asking the deep ones!

I'd consider myself happy although it was not always so for reasons you're aware of.

Knowing who you are helps an awful lot! :o)

I should think that knowing who you are and accepting it forms a large part of being 'happy'.
You won't hear me arguing about that!