Designer Diary Personal Thoughts

A Panda and the realization that it is okay to be happy.


After getting off a Skype call with a friend who lives on the other side of the country I hopped into my car to sit down to lunch with another friend to talk D&D. That is Dungeons and Dragons, for those who may not know. I am getting ready to start a new game with a group of people and we are in the stages where everyone’s characters are getting made. This isn’t important, it just provides more context.

As I was driving though, I can’t remember what song cam on my playlist, but I started to smile as tears welled up in my eyes. I felt purely happy. Then, there was a feeling of guilt that followed. It wasn’t like I was happy in a joyous occasion like my recent wedding… no… I was just happy. I don’t know why I felt guilty… maybe because I am aware of all the things happening in the world around me, but should all these horrible things be the only thing we fixate on? Has the constant access to horrible news stories brought down the collective emotion of our humanity? I think it has, but I don’t think we have to buy into it.

What about you readers? Do you find yourself feeling guilty about your happiness? Do you find depression or sadness to be a more natural choice?

Stay foolish!



  1. Absolutely. Guilt is a pretty perpetual feeling for me, though. Often, if I’m not feeling guilty, I feel like something wrong is just around the corner. It’s a time bomb, and sometimes it’s so consuming that I don’t allow myself to be happy, even for a sliver of time. I fixate on this quite a bit, and I’m absolutely taking steps to change it. People deserve to be genuinely happy, even in times of strife. It can be rather difficult to find a balance between the two, though.

    1. I think there needs to be a separation of words because words hold so much power in our lives. Guilt to me feels like a long-term sadness… it is a frame of reference you choose, and this has an effect on all things that you do. It is okay to feel sad about actions we make, and it is okay to be sad about choices we made in the past when new information enlightens us. The key is allowing that sadness to help us grow in wisdom and move forward with our lives… because we have to understand that we can’t actually change the past. We do however need to take responsibility to move forward. As a culture – that may mean we use some real tough love call mistakes and horrible views out for what they were and are and learn. Move forward and help others who want to live in the past come back to the present. This takes a lot of individuals claiming responsibility for their actions… which is a scary concept.

  2. Perhaps we should feel guilty for NOT feeling as happy as we should. The poorest persons in the United States are better off than 95-ish percent of the rest of the world and yet there is so much unhappiness. Be content where you are AND strive to improve yourself, your situation, and the situation of those around you.

    1. Also, I should add on to this, that happiness or joy isn’t a destination but a byproduct of our life choices. I would contend that much of the unhappiness is because people see it as a goal. When an emotion is your goal your life will feel tumultuous. Emotions are fleeting for a reason… there is a middle ground for the soul though, and it very well may be the “content” you are speaking of.

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