Tim Lott opened up and bled these words in his book “The Secret of Happiness? Stop Feeling Bad about Being Unhappy:” I wish I were happy all the time – I just don’t think it’s a very realistic possibility. The daily parade of disaster on the news is sobering enough. The fact of my own mortality is a downer. Old age and sickness frighten me. The difficulties of human communication produce as much isolation as connection. The corruption and venality of the powerful are daily reminders of the ubiquitous nature of injustice. The lot of most people in this country who simply work and work harder and harder in order to spend, or simply survive, strikes me as profoundly un-jolly.
Let me bleed a bit here too: I’ve lived long enough for any naïvety and delusions of perpetual “happiness” I may have had to have come to an agonizing demise after a lengthy illness.
Personally, I know all too well the heartbreak of having my heart taken, tricked, and discarded too many times and the disappointment and loneliness of having been carelessly discounted by “family,” so-called friends, and the world at large.
Then, there is living with the chronic, terminal illness that is life, which afflicts us all and forever lurks beneath the other inconvenient sicknesses, accidents, and freak accidents, that has us all living with one leg rooted on land and the other leg suspended over the edge of the Cliff of Oblivion.
It is no wonder that so many of us choose constant motion, endless activities and deafening distractions as a reprieve, a salve, against our fickle reality.
Daily, we all witness too many stupid, ridiculous, and shallow people and other amusements validated by “the powers that be,” and then sold to and bought by the gullible masses. And as a result, our information, entertainment, and social media super highways have become like landfills littered with so much hazardous waste.
Globally, we all see too much senseless ugliness, injustice, evil, and apathy on the evening news; on the History Channel; and in our everyday observations of and interactions with our fellow human beings.
We are all chasing happiness, to no avail.
America is, arguably, #1 among all First World — advanced — countries. We are all very familiar with the “good,” so let us own the bad. We are also at the very top of the heap in matters like sexually transmitted diseases (STD), obesity (gluttony), stress, depression, consumption and over consumption (greed), suicide, homicide… I’ll stop here.
Hmm-mm, am I happy?! Can I be perpetually happy?!
Call to action: Share in the comments below your own thoughts on the chase for happiness.
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