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What Is Your Groundwork of All Happiness?

I was sitting at the pharmacy the other day, where it seems I spend 90% of my time and money these days, waiting on yet another prescription to be filled. My body was too tired to wander around the store searching for things to buy that I didn’t really need. So I sat in the uncomfortable chair, just looking around as I waited. I wasn’t playing on my phone or surfing Facebook. I just sat there and watched the world go by me.

The groundwork of all happiness

It was then that my eyes spotted a large, bold graphic on the wall of the drugstore. There, in giant, brightly colored letters it said, “The groundwork of all happiness is health.”  It is apparently a fairly popular quote by poet, Leigh Hunt. I sat for a minute, thinking about it. I found it very interesting. Why a company would choose this particular quote to place so boldly across its wall?

The relationship between health and happiness

It seems innocent enough, drawing a parallel relationship between health and happiness. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Maybe it was my recent round of steroids taking over (rocking a bit of ‘roid rage and all) or maybe I had a legitimate reason to be angry about it. Are you telling me that the only way I can be happy is if I’m healthy? Or perhaps without my health, I don’t have a chance at happiness?

That is a rather bleak perspective

If you think about it, the true nature of a chronic condition is just that, a chronic health condition. Meaning, no cure. No “health.” So if that is the case, as this quote and company so boldly claims, that the groundwork of all happiness is health, I might as well pack it in now. I clearly don’t have a chance at happiness if I don’t have a chance at being healthy.

Clearly whoever made the choice of this particular quote doesn’t have a chronic illness. Is that the right mentality for a company to promote? Is that a quote that is motivating, positive, or uplifting? When I’m in the middle of being “sick” is this what I need? Perhaps there is an element of truth to it I suppose. It is certainly more difficult to be happy when you have psoriatic arthritis. But is health really the groundwork of happiness? I say no.

Rather, happiness can be found in life, even without perfect health.

The groundwork of all happiness is family.

The groundwork of all happiness is empathy.

The groundwork of all happiness is support.

The groundwork of all happiness is community.

The groundwork of all happiness is _________.

How would you fill this in? What is the groundwork of your happiness? It is this that I find comfort what I’m flaring. I remind myself that there is more to my happiness than feeling “good.” I have to change my mentality and find my happiness in other things. I have to look for happiness in my family, in feeling empathy for others, in offering support, understanding, and community. That, my friends is the groundwork of happiness, not health.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Rackmani
    1 year ago

    For me it’s a combo of health; financial stability; a good social life; a reasonably enjoyable job… & family

  • DebeeC
    1 year ago

    For me the groundwork of happiness is mobility and a lack of severe pain! Many PsA patients are still driving, actively working or partipating in daily family activities, with the exception of a flare! For those of us who PsA has taken it’s toll and left us disabled, in moderate to severe pain daily and subsisting pain meds, ice or heat packs, there is a kernel of truth! We are not wallowing in self pity, we are struggling to have the energy to bathe, walk a short distance or make a simple meal! Those restrictions make it difficult to celebrate
    seasonal holidays, have a normal social life or feel they are anything but a burden to their families! It all depends on how disabled one is!

  • DebeeC
    1 year ago

    For me the groundwork of happiness is mobility and a lack of severe pain! Many PsA patients are still driving, actively working or partipating in daily family activities, with the exception of a flare! For those of us who PsA has taken it’s toll and left us disabled, in moderate to severe pain daily and subsisting pain meds, ice or heat packs, there is a kernel of truth! We are not wallowing in self pity, we are struggling to have the energy to bathe, walk a short distance or make a simple meal! Those restrictions make it difficult to celebrate
    seasonal holidays, have a normal social life or feel they are anything but a burden to their families! It all depends on how disabled one is! I am not saying I don’t find any happiness, just that it is harder to achieve now!

  • VickiN moderator
    1 year ago

    For me the groundwork of all happiness is a good heart and being present.

    I had a similar feeling, Leanne, when I was traveling abroad for 6 months after my graduate degree. I met a lot of travelers who felt that those who didn’t travel/backpack at some point in their lives were missing out. There’s that famous quote about life being a book, and those who don’t travel only reading one page. The great irony is that people say this while traveling through countries and communities where the majority of people will never travel outside their city. Are those who can’t travel because of money (or health) doomed to be unhappy? I don’t think so, and I think it’s sort of rude to assume that only the privileged can have worthwhile experiences because they have the money to purchase them through Expedia, lol.

    Thanks for sharing!
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • mhstewart
    1 year ago

    I try to help others so I am not always focused on my pain. I practice this every day. I find it helps be keep perspective on my life along with my chronic illness and pain.

  • Koffegurl
    1 year ago

    I agree 1000%! I joined the American Red Cross this past September. I deployed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, I’ve responded to help people after home fires and I opened a shelter during our Legion Lake fire. You don’t necessarily need to do physical tasks. It allows me to give, which really helps keeping the focus off of myself.

  • Eileen B moderator
    1 year ago

    What an extraordinary way to live your life, @Koffegurl! So in a strange way, PsA has given you the opportunity to give. I hope to read your memoirs one day. -Eileen, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team
    P.S. Do you know about the the One-To-One Program at the National Psoriasis Foundation? It pairs newly diagnosed people with experienced volunteer mentors for support.

  • Koffegurl
    1 year ago

    For me, the groundwork of happiness is perspective. I feel it is MY choice to either wallow in self-pity…which I admit I sometimes do…or CHOOSE to change my attitude. For ME, sometimes a positive outlook/attitude, although extremely hard, makes a difference, not only to myself, but also to those around me.

  • ninamuffin
    1 year ago

    As for me, the groundwork of all happiness is purpose.

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