The Happy Friday Series: Should Life Be Serious?

Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.

~ Brendan Gill

Read that again. Roll it around in your head for a moment. Let it sink in.

Brendon Gill (1914 – 1997) was a writer at The New Yorker for more than sixty years. I have yet to read any of his articles or books (though I have his non-fiction work, Here at The New Yorker, on hold at my local library), but that quote has always stuck with me. When Jayme asked me to write a guest blog, it was one of the first things that popped into my head.

What if life really isn’t meant to be serious?

What if we’re missing the whole point?

I was especially delighted with Jayme’s invitation to the Happy Friday Series because she and I met over a conversation about happiness. It was 2009 and, as part of my pitch to win a writing contest with a “good mood” theme, I put together a fundraiser. Jayme was one of the very few people who stepped up to participate. We were complete strangers, and yet she raised her hand and got involved.

All these years later (Has it really been FOUR years?!?!), we are still friends; and – apparently – we are both still interested in happiness.

Happiness is a funny thing. Everyone professes to be pursuing it, but so many people seem afraid to express it. There’s a strange stigma attached to happy people. I wrote about this in a post on my marketing blog about the power of enthusiasm, “Sadly, happy people are often looked down upon … We assume that they must be missing something. We’re suspicious of people who smile too much. What image comes to mind when I say ‘village idiot.’ How about the expression ‘grinning like the cat that ate the canary’? See what I mean?”

People who seem too happy are often labeled as being “not quite all there.” We are more willing to trust cynics and pessimists. Something in our culture has trained us to elevate the worth of opinions that are based in negativity and doubt the veracity of the happy.

  • Let’s stop that.
  • Let’s start a new trend of trusting happy people.
  • Let’s make it acceptable to show your happiness.
  • Let’s dare to be happy ourselves.

Can you imagine the possible ripple effect?

Here is a video I originally shared on the blog where Jayme and I met four years ago. It’s guaranteed to make you smile. I hope you’ll share it far and wide and set some happiness in motion today.



P.S. Here’s one more bit of Brendan Gill wisdom, “The first rule of life is to have a good time. The second rule is to hurt as few people as possible. There is no third rule.”

Go forth and be happy.


Jamie Wallace is an award-winning copywriter and marketing strategist by day, an aspiring author by night, and a mom and hopeless romantic 24/7. Find her at or on Twitter @suddenlyjamie.




Image Credit: Image of dog by J. Star

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