The documentary, Happy, delves into the true meaning of happiness and how one is to achieve it. It begins in a small Indian village, takes us through a Louisiana marsh then all around the globe. A repeated pattern I noticed throughout the film was that, even though the people didn’t have much, they were truly happy for various reasons. For example, the man of the Indian household in the beginning of the film told us that even though they might not have much, they live well. He said (about his family), “We stay together, and that makes us happy.” This goes to show that one does not need a surplus of material goods in order to be happy. When you are with the people you love, they become your anchor to whatever situation you may find yourself in. If it is a tough situation, they help you get through it. If it is a good situation, they rejoice with you. Being a part of something as truly spectacular as a family can make a world of difference in an individual’s happiness. I am my happiest when I am back home with my parents; because I know I have somewhere I belong.
This leads me to my next point on how community is extremely vital to happiness and well-being. My favorite part of Happy was when they showed us the Dutch communal homes. I thought those were amazing and a wonderful idea. I really related to the woman who told her story because in the beginning, she had mentioned how she felt isolated and how the communal homes made a world of difference. I can attest to this. I moved schools a lot and was never very good at making friends. I would always end up isolating myself, which led me to feelings of depression. But when I started opening up and making friends, it made a huge change in my levels of happiness. This ties back to what I was talking about earlier: a sense of belonging. My analogy for what it means to belong is like when you first buy a house. Slowly over time, you begin to fill it with people you