Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

No, I haven't seen Will Smith's movie of the same title. But I have heard good things, and brief synopsis from a friend. Of course further reading has pointed out that, while a very inspirational movie, it was more of fiction than anything else. Minus the rose-tinted glasses, the story is more of how a douche bag of a human being was at the right place at the right time. Why no, no one pissed on my cornflakes this morning, why do you ask?

C. P. Snow, some famous guy who just so happens to be a physicist and apparently a novelist once said that this pursuit of happiness is nothing but an exercise in futility, to paraphrase Mr. Snow. Of course, the little optimist who are all gaga over this bull crap known as the Secret would say something positive, like say, "it's because we don't find happiness, happiness finds us." Or say something nasty like call the good Mr. Snow a bitter, bitter old man. Well he's dead, and I'm pretty sure even if he was alive he couldn't care less if he was a bitter man, especially considering his accolades.

But perhaps that was the brilliance of the actual quote "The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you'll never find it." It is open to the interpretation of the reader and allows for a multitude of wordplay, allowing one to come off wiser to his or her peers should he or she share it. But was that the true intent? A template for what would be numerous quotations that will find it's way to coffee cups and framed posters if not short and sweet little letters? I'd rather think not. But sure, whatever floats your boat and impresses the chicks right?

Truth be told, I am in total agreement of the quote in its current unmodified state. Too often has humanity given chase to this wild goose that is happiness. But more often than not, the fruit of their labors have come to naught, or if otherwise successful, they realize it wasn't all that it was made to be.

But that does mean we simply wait till happiness falls on our lap like mana from the heaven? No, on the contrary, my answer is rather on the semantic end. We shouldn't strive to look for something vague and inexplicable like the notion happiness. I mean do we even know what it looks like or what exactly that entails? But rather, we should, if the time permits, seek out the things that we know will make us happy. If you seek out the idea of happiness then all you have is an ideal situation in which reality will always fall short. But if you pursue something that is indirectly tied to the state of happiness i.e. something that you know will make you happy, be it love, food, money or power; then perhaps you will reach that state. .

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