Tim Lomas’ wonderful book, “The Happiness Dictionary” is a lexicon worthy of exploration. From hugfanginn,to selah, to wú wéi, there are words that surprise, and words that delight … and words that just sound so good to say out loud, they are a joy. And if you’re searching for happiness, his book might just enable you to attach the words to emotions, qualities and experiences you’ve always been familiar with but just didn’t previously know how to describe.
In acknowledging that psychology has some strong candidates for a word that ties together all the words of happiness in his book, Dr Lomas alights on one: eudaimonia. This concept, stemming from ancient Greece and associated with the Olympian gods and fate, today encompasses perhaps something slightly different . . .
“ . . . connecting and living in communion with others; savouring the beauty that graces our lives; welcoming the full spectrum of human emotions, including those that are bittersweet; understanding the world and our place within it; gaining some conception of the sacred; and being a good person while always striving to be a better one. For these are the qualities we must strive for in whatever time we are given.”
There seems a power in untranslatable words and their ability to be interpreted by each one of us with our own unique understanding and acceptance. Their potential? Endless.