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In carrying out the interviews, I engaged two people of varied ages and experience. One was Fredrick and the other was Beverlyne. Fredrick is a student at the university and is aged 21. He is a final year student who holds Christian principles. He is single and has never worked before. On the other hand, beverlyne is a professional medical doctor who works at the hospital in the department on neuro-anatomy. She is married with 3 children and is 42 years old. She has worked in different parts of the state and has wide experience in the medicine profession.
I will begin by listing what I was able to collect from Fredrick. First, I asked him what he understands by the term happiness. His response was that happiness is feeling good and having the right things. In this case, money girlfriends, trendy clothing and electronic gadgets. Happiness to him occurred at times when went out raving with friends and engaging in drinking sprees.
He said happiness in his life changes with unhappiness in equal measure. I asked him what causes his unhappiness and among the things he mentioned were his poor relationship with girlfriends, insecurity in terms of money, class work seemed to also bother him because he stated that it was so demanding. In a bid to find happiness he could travel to stay with friends and relatives far away in the country side. To him I was able to conclude that happiness was concerned with material things and their availability. His happiness had changed over time because he told me that he used to derive happiness differently when he was young. He enjoyed playing with his small brothers and their pets. He loved taking bicycle rides because they seemed so fun. His happiness has however been changed by his age, peer influence and media. He told me that he always wishes to spot those trendy fashions he sees on television worn by stars and celebrities.
He further informed me that he thinks his happiness will change over time once he gets employed and when he begins to establish a family.
Beverlyne on the other hand seemed to derive happiness from achievements she had mad in her career and family matters. She revealed to me that her happiness was from what she called feel good factors. Some of the few factors included marrying well and meeting the correct spouse. Her partner had been supportive despite her very demanding profession as a medical doctor. She also derived happiness from focussing on the family. She is happy because she has been able to rear disciplined children who are very bright at school and give her what she had dreamt of. Going to church and participating in community servicing had also given her internal happiness. She viewed helping others as one form of deriving happiness. Her career as a medical doctor had always been her childhood dream, so when she graduated she was also elated.
According to her achievements in life seemed to provide her with a lot of happiness. She also admitted that her well paying profession was a source of happiness to her. She could afford to buy her spouse and children expensive gifts therefore attaining happiness. She stated that her happiness at her age was most unlikely to be influenced by anything else apart from what she had mentioned. I asked her if those around her could influence and she said that unless the person is so close, then the influence will be so minimal.
My idea is that happiness is being able to balance ones life to be able to provide an inner glow that can be seen outwards. It comes from sense of spiritual and personal sense. It is attained from doing what is line with what is good for us. It is achieved from accepting responsibility for who we are. Happiness is not attained through euphoria got from adrenalin rush e.g. alcohol or drugs; they serve to mask the sadness which comes back once you are back to your senses.
From the interviews, I was able to deduce that happiness meant different things for different people. For very grown up people, they are most likely going to measure happiness using achievements. Young people however, measure happiness through material things and the prevailing scenario. I think as a person grows, his happiness tends to change and therefore might keep changing till the person dies. In summary happiness is achieved through personal responsibility. Happiness is a product of building a value system and ensuring that we work that system in our daily lives.
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