“It’s easy to be happy when you’re dumb.”
This meme has been has been floating around on the internet for a while.
It’s a catchy slap, but it’s also true. It IS easy to be happy when you’re dumb. I think we should all get a little bit stupid, you know… for our mental health.
Let’s think about this statement. First, we need to break it down.
What does it mean to be happy? To feel joyful, thankful, peaceful? To have a kind mind, a positive outlook? Yes, good job. All of these.
And what does it mean to be dumb? To not know very much, right? Sometimes people don’t know much because they aren’t capable and sometimes it’s because they don’t have the opportunity or desire to learn, but there is one other group of people who don’t know much. It’s those who are wise enough to realize how very little we can actually ever know for sure.
So let’s replace some words here, and this will all come together.
- It’s easy to be happy when you’re dumb.
- It’s easy to be joyful when you don’t know much.
- It’s easy to be peaceful and have a kind mind when you realize you don’t know very much.
- It’s easy to have a positive outlook when you realize how little a person can know for sure.
- It’s easy to be happy when you accept that you just don’t really know much of anything for sure.
It’s an enormous world out there.
The lives of billions of people are intersecting with countless events in an unfathomable number of interactions each second. One little person with their two little eyes and one little brain can’t catch even a miniscule glimpse of the world in their lifetime.
Consider that your perception of everything you experience is also colored by your own unique upbringing and biases, and it’s safe to say you have roughly zero idea of what this world is actually like or what it needs.
Even though we are all effectively just bumping around the planet in our own clueless versions of reality, the second something happens in our life or in the world, we are knocking each other down to analyze and judge the situation.
You get stuck behind a slow car in traffic. “This is bad.” Your boyfriend dumps you. “This is bad.” Rain in the forecast for the next week. “This is bad.”
All these bad judgments add up, and before you know it, your life sucks and the world is a big scary unfair place.
You can never and will never know what could have been or might have been.
Consider the slow car in traffic that peeved you off. You can’t know if that slow car saved you from a terrible accident at the next intersection, or if that delay in traffic saved a little girl who ran into the street after her dog one mile ahead.
The truth is that all along you never actually knew if any of these events were good or bad for you or anyone else on any level. You can’t foresee your own future, much less foresee all the consequences of all of the alternate futures that could have happened if things happened the way you thought they should have. You can’t ever possibly know enough to make that call.
None of us really know anything, and that’s ok.
Let yourself off the hook for being the judge of everything. You aren’t qualified. Since we can never know, we might as well just relax a little bit and choose to trust the universe. Believing that the slow driver messed up your evening is just as plausible as believing that maybe the slow driver showed up at exactly the right time to put you at exactly the right place.
One interpretation is no more valid than the other, so why not err on the side of not raising your blood pressure and putting yourself in a bad mood?
Instead of getting wrapped up in all of the world’s drama, you’ll just notice something and deal with it and move on. It’s a huge weight off your shoulders to not have to decide whether being laid off from your job or having the engine fall out of your car was a blessing or a curse.
When you realize you aren’t sure what things mean and how they fit into the bigger picture, you just say, “ah, interesting.” Instead of draining yourself with all your internal drama, you actually have the energy to deal with the situation rationally and effectively.
DISCLAIMER: This website does not render medical advice. I am not a mental health professional. I share the methods that have worked for me and I truly hope they work for you, but I cannot guarantee any specific results.