When I was younger, I have had difficulty understanding the difference between joy and happiness. Perhaps, it is because both terms refer to a feeling of elation resulted in by a given delightful and satisfactory situation. A feeling that can be associated when one celebrates his birthday and every visitor greets him and presents him with varying toys and presents. The feeling that can be associated when one is being given attention, care and trust by parents and loved ones in life.
As I grew up however, I learned that regardless of both terms implying feelings of jubilation and delight, joy and happiness have different and deeper meanings that set them apart. My experiences and what I have gone through in life have set my perception on the real meaning of joy in relation to happiness. A few years ago, I have always made sure that I perform well in school because I wanted to please my parents. Pleasing them results in receiving rewards and prizes such as being able to identify and choose the toys that I wanted.
Thus, when I get grades of A’s or better, I get to buy the toys or things that I really long for. One of my efforts and perseverance has therefore resulted in me owning a computer through which I have realized I can have fun playing with. Playing with the computer has given me the same feeling of elation and delight that I associate with joy and happiness. I have enjoyed learning game techniques and cheats. I have also experienced fun and satisfaction when I beat virtual opponents and mastered the game.
The enjoyment that I have playing with computers has then resulted in me neglecting my responsibilities as a student. Instead of spending hours reading a book on history, I spent more hours playing with computer games. Instead of sacrificing not to sleep at night to memorize or understand a poem, I spent sleepless nights mastering a game and learning gaming techniques and cheats. Soon, I realized that my grades plummeted because of my new found addiction in computer games. “The True Meaning of Joy” “page_#2”
Playing computer games has given me the feeling of fun, enjoyment and happiness. It has also allowed me to make friends with a number of other computer enthusiasts and players. The feelings of fun and elation, however, have been limited because I did not do well in my school and my parents have not been pleased with what I do. I have considered myself happy everytime I face the computer but there has just been the feeling of guilt when I think about the assignments that I have failed to do and the coming exams that I have failed to prepare for.
The feeling of elation has only been momentary and the feeling I considered as happiness has been limited. Happiness, I realized, is not synonymous with joy in the situation that I have. While I consider myself happy playing with games, I hurt other people. I hurt my younger siblings when I have not got enough quality time to spend with them; I hurt my parents everytime I present to them horrible grades in school and when they have learned that I have been failing to do my assignments because of computer games. It has also resulted in negative consequences to me as a person, child and student.
Playing with computers must have given me happiness but certainly not joy. I have finally made up my decision to correct the wrong things that I have done when my grades have been on the verge of failing and a number of my teachers have already talked to me that unless I do something about the situation, they might as well give me failing grades. I still do not know if some of my teachers or classmates have talked to my parents about my situation because I just had the feeling that my parents have also been very concerned with my lack of concern and attention over my studies.
One particular teacher had given me an advice that life is not like playing games. Life is more serious than what we think it is and it is my responsibility to prepare myself for the real challenges of life. I realized that playing games would not help me prepare myself to reach for my ambitions in life and be what I have always wanted to be. Changing my lifestyle has been very difficult and challenging. It has not been very easy to give up the “happiness” that I get from playing with computer games. The change has not “The True Meaning of Joy” “page_#3”
been abrupt because there are times when I still become tempted to pay more attention to games than to studying my lessons. The ideas of getting better grades and being able to make up with the people that I have hurt, however, has motivated me to sacrifice the fun and enjoyment that I get from being in front of my computer. Gradually and painstakingly, I started to spend more hours doing math problems and reading books that I have neglected for too long. When I am tempted to play with games, I have needed to ask my siblings to regulate my computer use by securing the computers with passwords. Finally, I did better.
I have finally gotten to do my homework and study my lessons and which consequently resulted in me having better grades in school. I get to spend more time with my other siblings and friends and I know that I have made my family happier with my better performance in school. Sacrificing the little happiness that I have with computer games is challenging and difficult but the feeling of elation that I feel for being the better person that I became for sacrificing that little happiness is certainly a better and a more satisfying experience. It is not only I who enjoy happiness but others: my family, my teachers, and my friends.
The guilty feeling that I used to get for irresponsibly enjoying myself with computer games has been replaced with a feeling of pride and satisfaction that I have become a responsible person. The feeling that I now have is what I consider as joy, the feeling of elation that you experience despite sacrificing “happiness” for yourself to do what is right. The feeling that reflects the deeper meaning of satisfaction and happiness. It took me an experience to set the meaning of joy and happiness apart. More importantly, it took me sacrifice to understand and experience the true meaning of joy.