The current Happiness meme is bullshit.
The commentary is that you are on this earth to be happy. That you should only be doing what makes you happy.
“Follow your heart.”
This sounds nice and would be nice, if it were true. Truth is that humans are not the only inhabitants of this planet, and most inhabitants of this planet put forth massive amounts of effort to survive. To wake up the next morning.
Why then are we so special, that we should be put here for the sole purpose of being happy? What makes humans so unique in this respect?
Granted, for many of us, certainly most in the United States, life doesn’t require the amount of effort that it once did. However, that does not confer any special meaning in itself. No more than your pet dog’s life being super easy compared to a wild wolf’s, confers any special meaning.
Additionally, how does the current Happiness ethos inform people in this world dealing with real struggle and suffering? How does it impact the real injustices, even right here in the United States? What does it say to someone with real horrors in their life, to say that Happiness is the standard of success.
Similarly, it seems convenient that the people who control things in this world, seem to be in pursuit of other things, largely by selling us Happiness.
Happiness has been commoditized, packaged, branded, and marketed to us as some sort of special ethos. Something that, the pursuit of, places the pursuer on a higher spiritual, ethical. And, conversely, if you’re not happy, you fail.
I, myself, could care less about my personal happiness. Take it or leave it. I don’t want my life force, and my time in this life to be spent on self-gratification. That is not growth. That is not progress. Nothing grows without struggle and effort. Muscles don’t. Trees don’t. Babies don’t. Families don’t. Cultures don’t.
Additionally, the converse is also true, lack of effort leads to atrophy, decay and death. Civilizations die. Muscles die. Thus, Happiness, as it is popularly conceptualized is a fairly risky state.
I do believe in Goodness. I would want my struggle and suffering in this life to lend some measure of increase to the Goodness in this world.
That would make me Happy.
There is a fish that swims in the shallow crystal clear waters of Flamenco Beach.
In loose, slow schools you can only see it when under water.
With virtually clear colored bodies, and only the faintest of black on it’s fin tips, it hides in plain sight.
Unmolested by predators from above.
This is a list of my teachers:
- My mother–a saint in my eyes, especially because of her faults
- My father–piece of shit that he was.
- Malcom– for showing me a possibility of how to be, when I had no hope.
- Dr. Reisch–for hazing my ass intellectually, and laying the foundation for my intellectual investigation.
- Marvin–a counselor at Elmhurst Boys, who gave me a visible example of how to behave.
- The boys of Elmhurst Boys-with and amongst whom we hustled, fought, stole, smoked, drank.
- The boys of Lefrak City–who taught me how to take a beat down.
- Celeste–with whom I learned the possibilities of intimacy & the lunacy of relationships.
- Those sons of bitches who cut me up, and left me for dead that night in Brooklyn.
- Sheikh Ali–who taught me spiritual insight.
- Karriem–my Brother. I’ll miss you. Didn’t get to say goodbye.
- Dr. Sampson–who did her job when others just wouldn’t.
- Eddie–who taught me to man up.
- The NCOs of the Ranger Regiment–who forced me to meet the Warrior.
- B.I.B.–because of the shit we went through. Those who know, know.
- My wife–who has been my mirror, whether I wanted her to be or not.
- My children–who can count the lessons?
- My business–for bringing me brutally face-to-face with my shortcomings.
- Daisy, my dog–because she just is. She is a Warrior.
- Tomiko, my dog–for making me eat my words, and winning me over, despite peeing all over the place.
- Sugar, my cat–who first showed me what loyalty might look like.
- My wife’s Grandfather–who was a Real Man. May I ever live up to his example.
That’s it for now. A starter list. I will probably amend the list as time goes on.
Post by guest author, S. J., 7 years old.
Panda bears are cute and adorable but on the endangered species list.Their habitat has an extremely poor diet.There are two kinds of panda bears.The giant black and white panda, the one that comes to most of our minds, but there’s also the red panda which is also called the lesser panda.There are very few pandas left in the wild and zoologists have been largely unsuccessful in breeding them in captivity up to now.The Chinese government has taken steps to protect these endangered animals.Will YOU help protect these animals?