Ever read a good old classic storybook and feel the true satisfaction of the words, “And they lived happily ever after, the end?” Well, as gratifying as it is to read these words and get a break from the everyday worldly problems, if taken too seriously, this feeling can be very misleading. How so, you ask? This is because no matter how elevated and successful you become in life, you will never have this so-called ‘happy ending’. This is because they don’t exist. In the real world, every situation has its ups and down and every situation throws a new type of hardship at you to be overcome. Yes, some rare moments can be considered perfect in reality, but an entire lifetime after a certain point, however, cannot be. The thing about storybooks is that they’re short. Them being short is due to the fact that they only tell part of the characters’ life story. Due to a point in the characters’ lives, which isn’t really the end of their lives, seeming to be the end, it is labeled as the ‘happy ending’. The perception of having to wait to only a certain point in life to be happy after, there on out, is ridiculous and needs to change. Storybooks are misleading but they’re fictional after all and so, they cannot be blamed. We need to understand that since there are no happy endings in real life, people write them into storybooks to get the refreshing feeling of experiencing them every now and then. It is more of a distraction from real life than a way of explaining how real life functions. Next time you see a child reading a storybook for the first time, make sure to explain to them that this ‘happy ending’ isn’t the end of the characters’ lives. Tell them the characters will have many experiences after that and that this is just the ‘end’ to the book, which is happy. Don’t be too much of a bummer, though. This way they won’t grow up fantasizing to get to that point of a ‘happy ending’, which doesn’t exist in real life. Published in Daily Times, September 4th 2018.