wings and things

Happiness guilt

I have always had a bit of a problem with “happiness guilt”. As a child, I had a keen awareness that while I had a loving family, enough food, and a house to live in, other children in other places didn’t. So I developed a kind of resistance to happiness because it made me feel so guilty when I knew other people – particularly children – might be unhappy.

When I posted about Ming’s new ute, I didn’t mention the episode of happiness guilt he experienced for nearly an hour after Anthony and I shocked him with his birthday present.

I took Ants back into the lodge for lunch and wondered why Ming was taking so long to come in and join us. Finally I went outside to find Ming in a severe state of happiness guilt.

Ming: But I don’t deserve it – I can’t believe this!
Me: It was Dad’s idea and I made it happen.
Ming: But how? We don’t have any money! I’m so worried!
Me: Dad had some savings – Ming, please stop worrying, it’s okay. This is giving Ants so much joy – it’s sort of vicarious.
Ming: But it’s 4WD!
Me: Dad’s idea.
Ming: And turbo! And diesel! With a steel tray! And it’s automatic!
Me: Dad wanted to get you the best.
Ming: No, I don’t deserve it!
Me: You do! Now get over it and come in and say all this to Ants!

In the end I had to get a couple of nurses to go out and convince Ming to be happy and not guilty! He finally came in, hugged and thanked Ants and things lightened up but it was only when Ming (still on L-plates) was driving us home that the happiness finally got the better of the guilt.



Harp happiness!