I enjoy feeling happy, I do things to make myself experience happiness and I don’t like to be sad. However, it is not possible to be happy all the time. In fact it wouldn’t even be good if one was never sad because then you wouldn’t appreciate being happy. Would you even know you were happy?
Various famous people have made comments on the need to experience sadness. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist said, “The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” Nana Mouskouri, the Greek singer expressed a similar opinion when she said, ‘I do believe that if you haven't learnt about sadness, you cannot appreciate happiness.’
If you love someone and are happy when you spend time with that person, if you lose that person (whether it be through death, one of you moves away or you have a disagreement that you are unable to sort out) then you will feel sadness. This experience has been the catalyst for the creation of some of the world’s most beautiful poetry and music. If one had never experienced sadness one wouldn’t understand a lot of poetry and music and would actually miss out on some of the beauty in the world.
In the book, Don’t You Forget About Me
written by Alexandra Potter, one of the characters says, “…it’s the bad memories that make you appreciate the good ones. Don’t ever wish them away. It’s like your nan always used to say, ‘You need both the sun and the rain to make a rainbow.’” There are other writers and singers who have expressed the idea that you have to have rain before you can get a rainbow. Some people feel sadness should not be considered a negative emotion but simply one that is necessary.
I suppose in life one needs to experience the negative as well as the positive. We probably need the bad to realise when something is good, ugly to appreciate beauty and tiredness to be grateful for energy. I can see the ‘need’ for the negative as well as the positive but I still prefer to be happy rather than sad.