All posts tagged: happy

Earworms… and an Indian Orphanage that Needs Your Help

“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth, because I’m happy… Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…” And so on.  It’s in your head already, isn’t it? That catchy ‘Happy’ tune by Pharrell Williams, or “earworm” as psychologist Lauren Stewart called it in a recent article for The Sunday Times, has certainly enjoyed a l-o-o-o-ng popularity. “The song’s success tells us a lot about the way in which certain melodies can burrow into our brains and stay there long after the music has stopped,” Ms Stewart wrote. She explored how the use of repetition, gesture (hand claps), long note durations, gospel-style harmonies and simple rhythmic phrases result in “a cerebral high that can be as potent as any highly anticipated reward”. It explains a lot. Forgive the offense if Happy is your all-time favourite tune, but I find the lyrics to be rather trite. I get that it’s a celebration of joy and happiness, which really is admirable, but it’s the song’s carefree, toe-tapping tone of positivity that makes it …

The Supermarket Optimist

To the guy who stands at the entry to my local supermarket and hands out shopping baskets, always with a smile and a cheery greeting, I salute you! Yes, you’re paid to do it. But I’d hazard a guess that you’re not paid to smile infectiously, to say your “hello” and your “welcome” with such gusto and goodwill. As the lady at the checkout scanned my groceries – peanut butter, cat food, cream, flour, chocolate (just one block) – I watched him grin and hand baskets with unwavering happiness. “He’s always so cheerful,” I said out loud. “I know,” the checkout lady said, without needing to ask who I was talking about. “And you know, I’ve never heard him say a bad word.” I think we all know someone like my super(market)man. In fact, a friend comes to mind immediately. She’s been known to turn on the sun during some pretty dark times. It’s not that she’s happy all the time, just that she is always searching for the positives and she chooses to focus her …