It is interesting to look up the word happiness in Google. It appears in countries which in our privileged part of the world we might assume it doesn’t exist.
Happiness could be felt momentarily by a child on a rubbish heap finding some piece of cast out scrap which would, if sold on, perhaps, pay for some kind of food for the child and their family for one meal.
That moment of happiness might be felt more fully than a child given an ipad for Christmas which is not exactly the one they wanted in order to hold up their head at school.
No one knows because the word is so abstract and varied than it has never been defined in any other way than a word into which each person can place their own hopes and expectations.
In some cultures and time zones, Christmas is a culmination of fantasies, dreams, hopes, expectations, childhood stories, films, books, perfect family gatherings and a price put on love.
Does telling children how lucky they are to have whatever present or presents they are given fulfil their Christmas dream? Does telling them how starving and unloved some children are help them to be grateful for their luck and thereby create a day of happiness for them? Can it become a throw away remark from tired parents who might have overloaded the presents and occasion in order to try create the perfect happy day.
Google, John Lewis and Microsoft were the top three companies to work for in the UK in 2014. Money was a part of that but equally some priceless happiness wishes were about camaraderie, respect, support and care. Apparently these companies offer these possibilities, thereby creating a happy environment in the workplace.
There are no answers to the meaning of happiness. What is known is that happiness and unhappiness sit side by side and you can’t have one without experiencing the other. The cloud and sunshine idea is the perfect concept for that reality.
Clare Ireland

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