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I spent 20 + hours, over three consecutive weeks, on writing a 4500-word paper on “Well-being” and/or “Happiness”. The topic narrowed into exploring how including a measure of ‘happiness’ into Public Policy has impacted the public’s perception of ‘the good life.’ The findings were not based on primary data; instead, the paper was largely conceptual, using evidence from a few case studies and examples from published discourse. I realise now that I am re-writing its introduction here — pause for reflection ( . ) The whole process of producing a paper made me quite unhappy. …

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Once upon a generation, when the word “naughty” was allowed on children, there lived two mischievous little girls who behaved very badly. They went to an all-girls school and disrupted almost every class; they talked incessantly during morning prayers, and even invented a hand signal code only they could understand, outdoing the teachers; they were class-clowns — real practical jokers. What a laugh!

Soon there were whispers about the “problem children”. They were sent to counselors for breaking school rules. The “nice” lady made them draw pictures — this made them laugh even harder. How stupid! Perhaps no one, but…

Being happy will not make you depressed, but feel good factors can sometimes keep you depressed for even longer.

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(What I’m about to propose is one method that worked, and may I stress on this, for me. It worked for my make-up, character traits and circumstances, so do read this with an open mind)

“Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. — World Health Organization.”

For about seven years of my young adult life, I think it’s safe to say, I was experiencing a stale but severe depression. As…

Three mad people walk into a bar. There is no punchline because they are the joke.

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“What’s the worst part about being mad?” People don’t actually ask, but they probably want to.

Well, honestly, it’s not just the symptoms. Sure, they are rough, but what’s left after they subside is a sterile stench of pity and people tip-toeing around your sanity. The worst part is the loss of your carefully guarded dignity.

Sure, the symptoms don’t help. The madness tries to swallow you whole, doesn’t it? If your mind had a gear shift, the crazy would take control. Soon you…

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My mother, born in the 1950’s, grew up in a scenic village, tucked in the hill country of Sri Lanka. She lived through a strange paradox of having a life of abundance but also experiencing specific lacks. Being one of ten children meant that though my grandparents were considerably well-off, everything had to be rationed. …

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I got a C- for a paper I wrote on nicknames in my third year at University over ten years ago — I’m still mad about it.

The paper was an investigation into gender and social norms, as seen through the coinage/usage of nicknames. Are you asleep yet? (probably why I got that C-)

The theory (or truth) of gender is that it is performed. In general, this means that we act “male” or “female” and this acting is subject to our audience. I may speak “like a boy” in the presence of my closest girls, while I may act…

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My parents and brothers, who have known me long enough, know when I say, “well, I like my brownies a little burnt,” or that, “the juice is better when it’s watery,” that I’m so wholly and completely faking it. Busted.

There’s a fancy term to describe this sort of feigning — “prosocial lies”. Studies (Levine, 2015) even suggest that deception helps breed trust if the lies are mutually beneficial. …

Manishka Gunasekara

Teacher. Writer. Generally, a curious being.

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