[motivational image text: ‘It’s up to you.’ ‘The Amazing thing about life is that You choose what you allow into it, You choose how things affect you, You choose how you react. Happiness is a Choice. Make it.’]
I chose to be happy last week. It didn’t work. Huh. Maybe it’s not that simple?
So firstly, I’m not picking on the creators of those particular images – they represent a wider phenomenon of cheery-yet-meaningless affirmations online. I found them all in about five minutes on Google. Also, I am fairly sure that when these folks woke up in the morning, they didn’t think “I know, I’ll oppress a disabled person today!” I know they’re just trying to be nice, and I really hope they help some people feel better about themselves.
But there are other ways in which this kind of sentiment is majorly unhelpful. Mostly because they make incorrect assumptions about how the world works:
1. Not recognising that, for a great many folks, happiness isn’t as simple as “choosing” to be happy.
I keep trying, but my neurological makeup/Wounded Inner Child won’t let me be happy. And I am fairly sure there an awful lot of folks with other forms of bad luck who’d be pissed at this sentiment too, i.e. the majority of the world’s population who live in poverty. I’m mostly talking about mental health because that’s where I live, but you could rewrite this article with any given disadvantage.
http://unquietslumber.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/everyday-prejudice-2-motivational-memes/ < Go read the whole thing