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The Definition Of Happiness

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Clara Koh from Secondary 4A broached the topic of happiness. After reading about COVID-19 related news, she became aware that many people are falling into depression. She commented, “Many are experiencing various difficulties in finding joy in their lives, especially since COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. There are also others who are unable to relieve their stress because they are unable to hang out with big groups of friends. Clara hopes that her speech will inspire her fellow schoolmates to see the light amidst this never-ending tunnel of COVID-19 pandemic, and to experience bliss in this new normal. (This speech was delivered in July 2020 during morning assembly.)

Clara’s Speech:

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, Teachers and fellow Fairsians. I’m Clara Koh from Secondary 4A and I am a member of the Student Council’s Social Department. Today, I would like to talk about happiness. Some people think that happiness is derived from earning a lot of money or from fighting for our country, while others feel that happiness is attained through acquisition of knowledge or a higher social position. But I believe that true happiness can be found from the simple things we do in life.

On our planet, there are more than 1.5 million different species. But what if I told you that the one thing all of us have in common is the feeling of happiness. Not only do we feel it, but we also share it. The most common example of us feeling delighted is when we have, for example, a dog or a cat. We feel joyful cuddling up to our pets when reaching home. Happiness isn't just derived from making progress in our lives and accomplishing something special. It can also be found in the little things we do. Throughout the years, there have been many studies of animals expressing joy in different ways. For example, when a tiger feels comfortable and happy, it will squint or close its eyes because temporarily losing its vision means lowering its defence. We humans in turn will smile or laugh when we are delighted.

Now that you know that we are not the only species experiencing happiness, I would like to talk about the ways we can experience pleasure. Some people seek to be the best in a subject, while others want acknowledgement and recognition in their CCAs. There are also people who strive for popularity. I believe that none of them are truly happy, because they will still have to live with the burdens of life that their choices bring them.

I'm not saying that it's impossible to truly feel happy. On the contrary, I'm saying that happiness is all around us. I have had many lovely, exciting, and cheerful moments. My first memory of true happiness was when I was playing with a colourful LED spinning top that my late grandmother had bought for me when I was 7 years old. Of course, I was younger then and was happy with almost everything, but it is the small details of that activity that make it a memorable day. One thing we should remember for the rest of our lives is that true happiness is not dependent on who we are with or what we are doing. We just need to open our eyes to the simple things in life, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I shall now end my speech with a quote from Denis Waitley. “Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”

Thank you for listening!