Electrons are characterized by the energy states in which they reside. These energy states are further referred to be “quantized” as they are separated by precise amount of energy in different molecules. Coupled with the allowable angular and magnetic spins, each electron is very unique. Surprisingly, our happiness is no different. Happiness is also very intrinsic, subjective, and in a scientific term, quantized; what makes me happy may not do you any joy. The common praise: “you are very special!” may also owe its origin to this abstraction.
Just like the event of each excitation of the electron, upon each “excitation” of our happiness comes “relaxation” to its former ground state. Happiness is short-lived. We feel it in this second, it then diffuses away from us in the very next. An adrenaline rush, a smile that stretches from ear to ear, a momentary peace of mind and uplifted spirit, these are all we get. Then everything cycles again til the next stage of happiness is reached. “Could ‘the pursuit of happiness’ be founded on this very idea?” This may also very well explain why mankind is on an endless voyage to seek happiness because its happiness routinely reverts back to its “ground state”.
In Chemistry, electron is a mobile negatively charged subatom that brings about the system of an atom. It is also the main contributor to chemical bond formation in molecules, be them organic or inorganic. Being capable of moving up to the speed of light, 3 x 108 m s-1, electrons’ constant motions make it hard for their locations at a given time to be determined. But it is specifically this feature of the electron that could shed some light on why a living body should also be relentlessly moving and avoid idling. It is this feature that could possibly highlight the importance that to be moving is to be pursuing happiness.
We are a species that becomes harder and harder to please.
Take a baby infant, an open of arms of that of an embrace gesture or a smile will light up its expression. Take a preschooler, that gesture alone might no longer cut it without a cone of ice-cream, perhaps, in order to revive that liveliness. Then comes teenager and I think you get the idea. Instead, I’d like to take this space to admire moms and dads who are quite tolerant of their temperamental teens. In adulthood, we are now conditioned by goal setting. As we grow older and bear more responsibilities, happiness is now a measure of how successful we achieve our goals. In other words, goal accomplishment transcribes into a feeling of happiness. But imagine this. Run a 10k marathon for the first time, beat it, you feel spectacular. “I did it!” loudly and almightily. However, beating it for the second time might not abstract the same degree of happiness as you first did. The more and more you run this course, the more and more it becomes mundane to you, and the less and less you feel satisfied about your accomplishment. In fact, repeating this over and over could eventually desensitize your response to your achievement and take your enjoyment out of running altogether. The main point is the road to happiness seems to become more and more far fetched with respect to age and goal. And in this stage of adulthood, if we don’t set forth more goals that challenge us to stay in motion, we could become less and less happy, less and less satisfied with ourselves.
“Be an electron!”
You will never find a static electron in this sphere called Earth governed by magnetic field. By the co-existence between moving charges and magnet, you will never find a charge, or an electron, that is never in motion. The fascinating nature with electrons is that they are always “looking for new opportunities”. Being loosely held by the nucleus of the atom, they are free to seek new electron clouds from other electrons in other atoms to form bond with, through donating-accepting or equal sharing, which is scientifically known as ionic or covalent bond, respectively. This “opportunity seeking” is a characteristic of electrons to challenge themselves to find ways to form a more efficient and energetically-favorable bond. “Can we find more ways to form bonds that will allow us to become more energetically stable?” is the mentality each electron bears. To electrons, the formation of a new bond, though earns them a feel of accomplishment and brief happiness, is only the start of a new challenge to form an even more stable bond. And so they achieve their goal given the right experimental conditions.
To be an electron, it is to never cease exploring new breakthroughs. To be an electron, it is never to cease pursuing the state of happiness.
“Be an electron! Pursue your happiness!”