Happiness and Our Infinite Idiocracy
Happiness. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Perhaps the deprivation of happiness could be contributed to this. I mean, why do people become unhappy?
From my observations, happiness (and lets skip the scientific explanation where I tell you about brain receptors) comes from feeling that all your wants and needs have been fulfilled. Of course, many bask in the momentary and partial happiness that can be brought about by alterations of consciousness an endorphin rushes, but that’s not real happiness is it? Isn’t it just a facade of illusion to mask the unfulfilled chasm stirring within you?
A major issue I see today is that people have let superficial constructs become their currency in which to purchase bliss; a car, a watch, a house that could probably room the entire philharmonic symphony. This detrimental process will never lead to sustained happiness. It’s not because the things aren’t enjoyable or because people don’t treat you differently when they know you have them. The reason such a process fails is because humanity is living in a state of emotional chaos. Emotion breeds impulsiveness which is fuel for desire. As you know, this type of fuel is not infinite. It burns intensely when first introduced, but as it fades we experience a numbness or withdraw that leaves us yearning.Furthermore, intangible things such as anger, obsession, pride, and vanity will quickly consume the void, rotting you from the inside out.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention that money was the root of melancholy. Money is a tool, nothing more. The lack of fulfillment that comes with being in poverty doesn’t come because of a strong desire for numerous pieces of paper, it comes from a lack of the items that the paper will get you. The tool is irrelevant.
True happiness is based on two things: insightful perspective and the willingness to stop gorging on consumerism and pride. Media definitely doesn’t help us do this. Companies make their money off of gluttonous people who flock to the best and newest because they equate that to self-worth. Don’t get me wrong, a little self-indulgence is healthy for confidence but we have become addicts holding out until we can get one more fix; corporations lining us up while they plunge the syringe deep into our veins. Although, this is not an attack on corporations or free-enterprise. Structure has it’s own place to hold humanity together, but when the inner-workings become infected and caustic, they need to be addressed.
The first step to attain happiness is to look at everything with reason, understanding, and a cautious intelligence. You will quickly discern the malicious from the nutritious. In truth, I think we largely know this fact but are simply unable to pull ourselves away. We look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we will be better tomorrow and that we’re not as bad as the person next to us, but venom is venom. It doesn’t matter if you are perpetually seeping it in or sporadically indulging.
Secondly, we must simply give up. Recognize that we are powerless over our addictions and focus on the things we can do to to supplement healthy behavior. Realize your basic needs: food, water, shelter, affection. You may think it silly that affection is a basic need, but we all crave it. It is in our nature. Studies have shown that without it our mental state falls into a deplorable condition. If you don’t believe it, try living utterly alone for a year. If you don’t run out of your confines hugging every human being you pass, I’ll eat my words.
I’ll leave you with this. Although critical in my analysis and not subtle, I believe my words ring true. That being said, find your own happiness and don’t let the thoughts or writings of others tell you how to live. You are you, perfectly imperfect. Smile about the good things, laugh about the humorous, and embrace the tragic. All are subject to the human condition.