Happy Place

“Daddy, how much longer ’til we get there???”

Henry David Thoreau famously said, 

“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”

Thoreau had economics in mind, but I think his aphorism is equally applicable to emotional riches.

Consider the common phrase, ”Happy Place”.

As in, I’m going to my happy place, or I’m at my happy place.

I looked it up. This phrase first appeared in the 1990’s in the Ottawa Citizen. But it really didn’t become part of the vernacular until the mid-2000’s.

Now, this phrase permeates the jargon of even those who fancy themselves to be ”mindful”, or see themselves as ”aware”, or as practicing ”zen”.

I have a question for you. If you claim to have a happy place, or there’s only one place where you can feel happy, what does that make all other places?

I understand and agree with the idea of having a ”mental” or ”psychic” happy place as a state of mind in which one practices reflective gratitude and meditative calm. A mental sanctuary that can calm the nerves, and that feels restorative is a healthy mental space to carve out.

Even the Urban Dictionary definition of ”Happy Place” is ”a place in your mind that is all happy.”

But if someone needs a physical place to go in order to feel these things, they’re missing the point, right?

In that case, I’m calling bullshit.

Now, granted, there are places you can visit that come with beauty and other amenities that aren’t the norm. But most of those places ain’t cheap. So, I’ll refer you back to Henry above.

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