New blog themes, two years later! | Today I Watched

Hi everyone!

First thing’s first, I’m back! I don’t know how long I can keep the streak going, but I have some exciting things planned for this blog, and I want to keep it running. So, whether it’s all 127 of you who are going to stick through this with me, or even if it’s just a couple who read my posts, welcome back! And to the potential newbies out there, hello!! I’ve had a very long, unplanned break, but am now back to stay (hopefully).

Secondly, I will keep the blog name “RageCat Blogs”, however, I am no longer going to start my blogs off the same way I used to for the past several years. I just think I grew out of that phase, but I like my blog name, so there you go. ;P

So, what is this series? Well, about twice per week, I want to share with you something interesting that I watched in that day. Since I still spend a considerable amount of my spare time on YouTube, and now on Netflix, I think it’s appropriate for me to talk about things that I enjoy. 🙂 I will include links to all original videos, so you can, hopefully, check them out for yourself, too.

So, for today’s segment, I thought I’d share with you an interesting video I stumbled upon on Facebook! Throughout this post, I’ll mostly be referring to the Facebook video, since that is the one I stumbled across first, and the one that originally caught my attention.

Link to Facebook video: https://www.facebook.com/TED/videos/10160634778345652/

Link to full video: https://www.ted.com/talks/ingrid_fetell_lee_where_joy_hides_and_how_to_find_it?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=social-science

So, this woman, Ingrid Fetell Lee, talks about her research on joy, and why we feel joyful, and why it’s good for us. She starts off with saying that, whilst doing her research on joy, she found that most people feel this when they talk about cherry blossoms, hot air balloons, bubbles, tree houses, etc. And this got me thinking… Why these objects? There could have been more included in her research, but why is it that cherry blossoms make us feel joyful, and not other flowers, like daisies or sunflowers even?

This then got me thinking: what people did she have for her research? What demographic were they? What ethnicity? What background? Because, for example, cherry blossoms are more common in Asian countries, such as Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan (from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_blossom). So if the demographic is mostly Asian, wouldn’t it be more common to them? Why would they feel joy, a temporary burst of happiness, if to them, it isn’t that uncommon?

Then, this led me to this idea: maybe these objects are linked because of the connection to childhood. Nearly everyone would have a happy memory associated with bubbles or tree houses. A lot of the kids that I knew were always dreaming of having their own tree house – a sanctuary that they could truly call their own.

So then, coming back to the cherry blossom idea – if the demographic is mostly Asian people, then perhaps they have a lot of festivals associated with this flower. In Japan, for example, the sakura (cherry blossom) is associated with the coming of spring, and also has festivals that surround it. Perhaps it is these festivals that bring joy to these people.

Then, Ingrid Lee moves on to talk about the similarities she found between all the things that people found joyful. Most people found round things to be pleasing, and colourful objects were also joyful. Then, symmetry and abundance and multiplicity were also satisfying, among other things. So the one common thing that was found by her about all of these objects was their aesthetic – the feelings people had when they were seeing or imagining these objects. All of these make sense – round things could be associated with a favourite fruit, or playing some type of ball game with friends or family. Colours are bright and catch your attention, so the colourful things we find are mostly joyful. An abundance of objects could also be explained by this – it’s good to have multiples of the one thing; that way everyone can enjoy it. 🙂 So really, joy could be found anywhere, if you just look hard enough.

But then, a grim detail popped up – most of all the offices, schools and streets don’t have many of the things that people find joyful. Even though the school lockers are arranged in symmetry, their colours are dull and grey. The office spaces, even though they might have beautiful views, also don’t have much colour. And the streets are the same. So why is it like this?

She suggests that it is because adults are frowned upon for being too colourful and expressive. They are thought of as childish, and are not taken seriously. To me, this is probably the saddest part. Yes, we can rebuild the offices to look better, we can paint the streets to make them look nicer. But then, if most people think that being colourful is being childish, then how many people will like the change? Would everyone feel joyful? Or would they still feel judged to express their true emotions?

So is everything just doomed to fail?

In several places, schools and offices are starting to be transformed into a more lively and vibrant space. And the results seem positive – children feel safer in the school environment, whilst adults in offices are reported to be more attentive and focused. This also makes sense to me, as colours are supposed to catch attention, so you would be more focused and alert as a result.

So what is my take from all of this?

Whilst it would be unrealistic to say that the world can change in a single day, we already have the foundations necessary for creating more joy in our life. If we continue to build on the foundations, there may be a lot of positive effects from the change, such as the suggested focus, alertness, and the feeling of safety reported by Ingrid Lee.

So, don’t be afraid to let loose and enjoy life’s temporary bursts of happiness every once in a while.

– RageCatBlogs =^.^=

 

 

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