The pursuit of happiness

I believe that there is already a pretty catchy Will Smith movie with the same [if not misspelt] name. This will be nothing like that. No, this will be something different in it’s entirety.

Or so I hope.
I must admit,  I never really saw the movie.

Here in the United States [yes, I get that plenty of my readers are from the other side of the pond] we have it pretty good. As a matter of fact we have it so good we take our freedoms for granted. The right to vote, people fought for that right, died for that right, protested for that right, went to war for that right.

Only to have more people vote for the next American Idol than the next American President.

Happiness is a fuzzy concept. You are told your whole life [even my international friends can probably relate to a saying similar to this] that money cannot buy happiness. This of course is true but there is the joke that people like to make in response.

Well no, but it will buy you things that will make you happy.

But does being happy, and having happiness really mean the same thing? If I can afford all the toys and gadgets I want in my life when I die, even if I wasn’t that good of a person, would I truely be… happy?

It’s tough to say really since my reality and yours are two different realities. I don’t believe in god, maybe you do, or maybe you believe in many gods. So it goes without saying that my reality can vary by quite a bit from yours just because I am a different person.

Our founding fathers had the right idea though, they didn’t say we had a right to happiness, they didn’t say we deserved it, or that it should be given to us by the government.

No, they said we had the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness they knew, is a moving target.

That job, oh… that job! It will bring you all the happiness you could want.
Six months into it you want something else.

Happiness is relative, happiness is changing; always slipping through our fingers when we reach out and think we finally have it.

I think people tend to focus on the wrong things when it comes to being happy though. We the people of the world tend to focus on the material things, cars, computers, electronics, new [cool] clothings, things that won’t bring you happiness but you are convinced by marketing companies who are much smarter than you or I ever will be that they can bring us happiness.

And we fall for it every time.

But happiness never comes. I mean sure in the short term you are happy, the screen comes on and you lose yourself in a beautiful moment, but those things fad fast. Then you are left with something out dated and needing replacement.

It is my [not so humble] opinion that things like that can make you happy. They really can! But they won’t bring you happiness.

Now your milage may vary. However, no one can live forever and for some it is scary to think you are going to die one day. I would argue that most people are more afraid that they will be forgotten when they are gone, not so much the act of dying, just the fear that no one will really care.

I think that if you want your memory to live on, then doing something to help the world will insure that you will not be forgotten when you are gone. It doesn’t have to be a big thing either, just something to help the people next to you.

Happiness [to me] is the woman I love and adore who is sitting across from me [wink] but it is also helping your fellow man.

If I am on my deathbed and I left this world just a touch better than when I came into it, well then that will be my happiness.

And at the end of the day, wouldn’t that be better than the new gaming console?

One response to “The pursuit of happiness

  1. Dear Gabriel,
    That was beautiful: “Happiness [to me] is the woman I love and adore who is sitting across from me [wink] but it is also helping your fellow man.” I personally believe that money helps to make our lives easier. You tend to panic when the utility company sends out a represenative to disconnect your service and you don’t have the money to pay the bill until next week. Back to topic, I beleive you can choose to make your world “happy”, even if its delusional like mine. Material objects can give a feeling of fullfillment, although not “true happiness within”. Great topic.
    Your Friend,

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