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Practice social distancing from Happiness Police.


Let no one make you feel guilty for finding some joy in these times

The News is filled with articles on human suffering, pain, desperation and death these days. It certainly is not uplifting when we look at the world around us. People less fortunate than us may be waiting for someone to give them food, trying to find safe places to sleep, suffering in the hospital or grieving for someone loved who has passed away. None of us can remain untouched by it. We feel the pain in the world and also know we could be one of the unfortunate ones too if luck goes the wrong way.

In these times is it wrong to steal moments of joy for ourselves or for others around us? Should we not keep our spirits up by doing whatever it is that cheers us up? When we share our small triumphs, our joys on social media, what is wrong with that?

There will always be people who will criticise you no matter what you do. And now they gatekeepers of happiness seem to have found a moral high ground. They just wait for someone to post about the food pictures from their home and they will pounce on that to say, “People in the world are suffering and you are posting food pictures”.

You have to say what you watched on Netflix, Prime or any other channel and the Happiness sentries admonish you with, “Are you not ashamed to say you are having fun when the world is suffering?” You have to share some old pictures of you from a stunning locale and the Happiness Police will say when migrant labour are sharing limited space in camps how can you post such joyous photos?

The Gatekeepers of Happiness would love to keep the gates to happiness locked for the entire world as if it is their god-given responsibility. They don't like people who smile, laugh find joy even in a bad situation. But none of us should take them seriously. Just because you post images of food, fun, places, memories which show the brighter side of life does not mean you lack sensitivity to the suffering of people around the world. No one should be telling us how to enjoy less in these times. No one should be allowed to educate us about our insensitivity. No one has a monopoly on insensitivity. Each of us feels for those who are less fortunate than us but within our lives, we are trying to find some ounces of joy by sharing photos, images and posts about the food we ate, the movies we saw, the books we read or the singing and dancing we did with our children or loved ones. Also the 'saree challenge' or any of the similar stuff! Finding joy in our lives does not mean we are not aware of the misery of others. The two things are different and let no one tell you otherwise. Keep the Happiness police far away from you. Not only in these times but always.

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