C.S. Lewis was a well-known philosopher and writer who penned many famous works, including The Chronicles of Narnia series. In one of his essays, he addresses the topic of happiness, and whether or not humans have a right to happiness.
Lewis begins by pointing out that happiness is an emotion, and as such, it is not something that can be demanded or expected. He goes on to say that happiness is often dependent on external factors beyond our control, such as the actions of others. Therefore, it would be unreasonable to expect always to be happy.
Instead, Lewis argues that we should focus on being good people, regardless of whether or not we feel happiness. He believes that this is more important than chasing after happiness, which is often elusive.
In his essay “We Do Not Have a Right to Happiness,” C.S. Lewis argues that we, as individuals within the world, do not have the right to happiness. Now, why would he think that? We’ve undoubtedly met people throughout our lives who appeared to be joyful or sad. However, does this imply that everyone on the planet is unhappy because “We have no right to happiness?” It’s strange how little has changed in society since C.S. Lewis wrote this tiny essay more than 60 years ago.
We still put happiness on a pedestal, as if it’s the most important thing in life. And we’re still not very good at achieving it.
So what’s the problem? Lewis believes that happiness is an emotion and, like all emotions, it’s unreliable. Emotions come and go; they ebb and flow. They are neither constant nor controllable. Therefore, to build one’s life around happiness is to set oneself up for disappointment.
It’s not that happiness is bad; on the contrary, it’s quite pleasant when we feel it. But since happiness is based on chance and circumstance, it’s unwise to make it our ultimate goal. Instead, Lewis believes we should focus on what he calls the “good life.”
The good life is not about feeling happy all the time. It’s about living a meaningful and fulfilling life, regardless of our emotions. It’s about doing things that are worthwhile, even if they’re difficult. And it’s about finding happiness in the midst of hardship, rather than trying to avoid pain at all costs.
In other words, the good life is about more than just happiness. It’s about living a life that is good, regardless of how we feel.
I believe that people are aware of how to be happy, yet they just feel they “supposedly” have a legitimate reason not to be satisfied with their lives. Thesedays, society brainwashes us into believing we have few rights to perform certain things in our lives because of all the music, media, and other influences.
that goes on in the world. Nevertheless, we constantly see people who are content and joyful with what they have whether it’s materialistic items or not. So, if happiness doesn’t come from objects/possessions, what does happiness come from? The answer that I think is most logical is that happiness comes from within each person. It is an emotion that cannot be forced or taken away; once you have it, you have to work to maintain it and keep it going.
I came across this article by C.S Lewis called “We Have No ‘Right to Happiness” and he states: “The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.
And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.” In other words, happiness comes when we let go of our own selfish desires and let something else take control. For me, that “something else” is God. Whenever I am feeling down or stressed about something, I always pray and talk to him and it makes me feel so much better because I know that he is always there for me no matter what.
So, happiness is definitely something that we have control over and it doesn’t necessarily come from things that we own. It’s an emotion that we feel when we are content with what we have and who we are. When we let go of our own selfish desires and put someone or something else first, that’s when happiness comes rushing in.
In reality, we do have the right to make a stand and have our joy handed over to us. Because I strongly disagree with Lewis’ conclusion in his essay “We have no right to happiness,” I believe that based on people’s lives, it is possible to be happy in many ways, whether it’s through money or love.
In Lewis’ opinion happiness is based around having a relationship with God, and if we don’t have that then we aren’t happy. He also states that “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists.
A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Lewis)
This especial quote by Lewis goes against what I believe because it happiness can be found in this world we live happiness just depends on what route you take to find happiness. We all want to feel happiness it’s a emotion that keeps us going everyday, and like Lewis said “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists” (Lewis) and I strongly agree with that because we all desire happiness.
Happiness is based off our emotions, and the actions we make can result in happiness. “Emotions are evaluative feelings that arise in response to an appraisal of something as relevant to one’s goals and well-being” (Scherer 2). Emotions play apart of happiness because if we are content with what we are doing whether it making others happy, or ourself then happiness will come along with it.
Emotions are important to happiness because happiness is a emotion, and we all feel happiness in different ways. According to Lewis happiness comes with having a relationship with God, but I believe that happiness can come in many forms other than just religion.
Happiness can be found when people make others happy. “The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness” (Xunzi). What Xunzi is trying to say in this quote is that even if you aren’t happy you can still make others happy, and in return that will make you happy.