So lately, there’s been a kind of Instagram fad going around with the hashtag “#100happydays.” Being ever the anti-trendsetter, I thought a bit about what it means for these people to be undertaking a project like this. The initial reaction was an attempt to see it from their point of view, inwardly knowing that I would judge the heck out of them when I got into my analytical mind. The aforementioned reaction went something along the lines of, “Well, I guess it certainly is a way for them to make their own lives more optimistic, and adopt an approach to life that would appear to be more fulfilling.” But not long after that, the inner cynic took the wheel and noted how doing so on a social media site only serves to subtly boast about how well one’s life is going; in a way, it was a humble brag. At best, it’s a way for secretly pessimistic people to force themselves to see the silver lining in things, but at worst, it’s just another societal construct formed to initiate an underlying competition to see whose life is the most brilliant.
And besides, as a Christian, shouldn’t I have a happy day everyday? I mean, I go to an incredible campus where I am reminded constantly of the glory of God’s creation; the mountains lie before me, the ocean roars behind me. Wedged in between the power of His creation and an everlasting display of His depth, there’s simply no way for me to really not be happy. And so, I find the practice of #100happydays to be something to stray away from.
On the other hand, #100saddays forces me to find something to be sad about and either make light of it, or use it as a time of reflection. In doing this, I cultivate an inner strength to surmount obstacles in the future that might be headed my way as well as remembering to seek God first in my wrestling and doubt.
Then again, I could just be a snobby, bigoted non-conformist trying his best to rationalize a decision to mock a social networking fad. Whatever my actual motivation, I just hope that I can use this time productively for God!