Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sceptical of Happiness

Nowadays everybody is searching for happiness and, frankly, I find it dead annoying. I don't feel like the pursuit of happiness should be a sensible life plan. Whenever I meet someone who says,"I just want to be happy", the first word that comes to my mind is "fool" ,the second is "lazy". Only a fool can be blindly happy. The world is not set up for happiness. Look at nature. I mean, really,- lions, springbok, lizards, trees, grass, even that jolly fellow the rabbit - they're not happy in their kill or be killed world. What makes us think humans are above that?

Then you have The Secret. Okay I do believe if you walk around all day thinking the world is out to get you, the world is going to seriously get you. But I certainly don't think everything is in abundance. How did that piece of psychobabble come into mainstream consciousness? I listened to a woman going on and on about it on Noleen the other day and I thought I'd vomit. I thought about a struggling single mother living on minimum wage in a tin shack in some vile squatter camp with a quaint view of a bubbling brook of sewage in front of her home watching this idiot, who is likely living off of some BEE, money-grubbing scheme, and wanted to reach in the TV and shake the woman until her brains rattled back into place.

Natural selection requires limited resources. When did we throw natural selection away? Was I asleep? I know for a fact as I write this, despite all the good thoughts I have - my nartjies are finished. They are finished. That is just the fact of it. So what's actually in abundance- happiness? Do these fools ever watch the news?

I'm always sort of wary of happy times. I laugh and joke and have had some pretty damn good times in my life, but at the back of my mind I'm always wondering -"Okay life what's next?". Life is not a jolly roller coaster ride of adventure and happiness. Telling people that is just cruel. Life is tough. At times life is damn near torture. Occasionally a chocolate sundae with real whipped cream and a cherry on top will fall from the sky, but by no means should you start thinking that's the norm. Just eat it up, be thankful you happened to be under it when it fell, and then get back to the hard work of living.


clement Ifeh said...

consider the ways of the jolly rabbit,you mentioned in your article, he knows other animals bigger than him, would always prey on him, but that doesnt change his sunny disposition to gloom,she still jumps around and play around,he has accepted nature as it is, and gets on with his life,i feel we should not worry about,"what next?",we should live for the moment and be happy as much as we can. the way i view happiness,i have drawn a serene,idyllic lake inside of me, and i drink from her as often as possible,especially when sadness hovers around me.

Lauri said...

Clement I'm not saying I walk around all day like a big grump, at least not all day. But if someone asks me - so what's your goal in life? I just don't think the pursuit of happiness shows a whole lot of ambition and not much of a grip on waht's really happening. At the very least we should be conscious.

clement Ifeh said...

i really mean,we(people) are overly concious of evil and bad things,it spoils happiness and living, evil,is and will always be there, no amount of looking at it can change that fact,what should matter is yourself, and happiness is the ultimate good,so in all the sadness and evil of the world,we should look for happiness and pursue it with doggedness.

Miss Footloose said...

A heavy duty subject! Happiness is not a goal to reach or a project to work on, imho. So I agree that saying you just want to be happy is not very bright.

Happiness happens because of the way you live, treat people, and allow yourself to view the world.

Clearly it is very hard to see how the downtrodden and the desperately poor can be happy. We should not ignore them.

Then there is the subject of brain chemicals. Some people are naturally happier or unhappier simply because of the amount of their god-given brain chemicals.

So now I'll go do something enjoyable and be grateful for my many blessings and try to make people laugh and I'll have a happy day. Should I feel guilty because of all the human misery and disasters I could be watching on TV and choose not to right now?

Like I said, it's not an easy subject!

Miss Footloose, usually happy

Lauri said...

I'm not saying you must chase unhappiness. I just think people ought to have some perspective. That woman on the TV was all bells and lollipops. I don't think bells and lollipops are gonna be enough for South Africa.

I'm also not saying you must be guilty for your happiness. Grab it with two hands and be grateful. that's just it. Be grateful. Don't think it's the norm- it's not.

Helen Ginger said...

Ahh, to be happy all day, every day. It sounds ideal, but it also sounds boring, uneventful, and unlikely.

By the way, what is "nartjies"?

Straight From Hel

Emerging Writer said...

Talk about glass half empty. I've always been an optimist. Bad things still take me by surprise but in between, I'm happier

Jacqueline Johns - Your Happy Life Mentor said...

Cheeezzze, no wonder you're not happy, wandering around looking for the next bad thing to happen to you!

I'll let you in on a lil secret.....you get what you expect, on the whole! Agreed, life is sometimes made interesting by curve balls, but if you go looking for them, you're sure to find more than your share.

Can you tell me what nartjies are, please?

Live Life Happy! (it's your choice)

Lauri said...

Helen- I agree. We need lows and bashes to truly appreciate the wonderful. Glossing it over with sickly sweet syrup makes it all a sticky mess.

Jacqueline- who said I'm unhappy?
Assumptions should not be made.I'm actually an optimistic person on the whole. Being prepared for waht life has in store is just good girl scout training.

There is a difference in demanding happiness as a norm and being grateful for the rare gifts of true happiness. Recent research has shown that using the positive thinking approach is actually harmful to some people, especially when they repeat affirmations that all evidence around them shows to be incorrect.

(nartjies= small sweet oranges with loose skin, I think they're called tangerines sometimes)

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Some of the happiest people I know are the poorest.

Anonymous said...

Happiness is a problematic subject for me. I think it comes in waves. I think people are so contradictory by nature that they often don't recognise happiness they see it.

I am also not a fan of the happiness gurus who proclaim that positive creative visualisation and the like will get you everything you dream of. I don't think that is a realistic approach in a very uncertain, random world.

I think the most important thing with happiness is to be able to see it when it is in front of you and not to expect it at every turn. I would also recommend remembering the maxim I live by : Life sucks and then you die. Hehehe.

Lauri said...

I am absolutley with you, Selma. If you put on those rose coloured glasses you'll never see the rubies.