Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rain today

Beautiful article at the link below on how america (or those who can afford it) pursues happiness at the cost of doing away with the opposite end of our emotional spectrum.

The article talks about our obsession with eliminating melancholia, and finding happiness in every walk. Each life an individual shangrila. Not isolation, but happiness all around. We try to do away with sadness and pain, and so injure the muse. Happiness slowly becomes the norm and everything else is an aberration that needs treating. And so we have pills to make us happy.

*Like the author of the article, I'm not knocking the seriousness of clinical, manic depression. I'm just talking about the lighter variety.*

Happiness is a broad term though. There's that question "wouldst you dance in the rain or be free from pain?". Romantically, the answer's obvious. Practically, it's the latter. Not that the choice has been offered, but ideally, you should want to enjoy dancing even if you are in pain.

And finally, there's the danger of losing our definition of happiness if we constantly try to do away with the baseline reference of unhappiness. There are parts of this article I don't subscribe to but I'd like to project here - I hope our capitalist mentality helps us preserve the concept of 'degrees of happiness'. This'll help us come to peace with our stock (because we know it can always be worse).

This stillness against the race for happiness is another kind of tranquility, one that helps a new kind of happiness blossom.

*Update* - I realise I started this post by plugging that melancholia article, but the forecast called for sunshine today.


Anonymous said...

And it's a good thing you updated this :) there's enough unhappiness around to last forever, so trying to fight it won't hurt anyone!

- Priyanka

indra said...

I'm just getting soft is all it is.
They won't love me over at