Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

"Smart" cannot be measured by money, test scores, social status or race.
I typed in "Happy Family" and this is the first image of a family that popped up.
Then I typed in "Stressed Out Family" and this was the first image of a family that popped up.
But going by the standards that most people accept as the norm - which family is doing better?
IMO- It's the top family (not based on race). They seem relaxed and at ease with each other. They seem comfortable being the Joneses.
The bottom family seems anxious to maintain any social status they may imagine themselves as having. They seem more concerned with keeping up with the Joneses.
Maybe the Bible was correct in giving the advice to be happy with what one has. (This does not mean that people should stop trying to improve their situation - just that they should enjoy the fruits of their labors thus far.)
The stress of keeping up appearances will kill you.
The comfort of ones friends and family will make one's life better and longer.
All that stuff Madison Avenue tells you that you are supposed to want only ensures their level of comfort - not yours.
Most of the problems people ascribe to race, gender, sexual orientation, financial status or anything else are just the over-exaggeration of one's own fears and insecurities.
Being "Smarter" (whatever the definition) does not bring happiness,
nor does money,
nor fame,
nor social status,
and definitely not one's looks.
Being Black, white, Hispanic or Asian does not guarantee one's success or failure.
Waiting for perfect conditions wastes time that could be spent actually doing something to make one's life (or the lives of others) better.
Changing others is more difficult than adding skills, knowledge or connections to one's own arsenal.
In fact, the happiest times in my life were the times of greatest struggle - with my family and friends rallied around me.
When someone finally reaches their goals (with all of the financial and social trappings included), they often find themselves longing for the days of struggle.
For the time when they had to use all of their knowledge, abilities and relationships to their maximum potential in order for them to overcome any obstacles.
For the time when they were the most fit, agile or able to adapt.
For the time when they were forced to live a life of "Being in the Zone" (An almost unconscious state).
But it's really not the struggle that they are longing for - only the ability to function at one's full potential (without the distractions of "stuff" or concern over one's persona).
It's the Ego without the arrogance.
Much of the drama about not being able to do something predicated on one's race is almost laughable.
"They don't hire Blacks to be cops." Really? Do YOU want to be a cop? Does anyone you know want to be a cop?
"They don't let Black people live in (insert Red-Neck town here)" Really? Do YOU want to live in any of those towns from Deliverance?
"Society is always trying to hold us back." Really? Are YOU even trying to move forward?
"They don't have enough Blacks in Baseball, Hockey, Soccer or NASCAR." How many Blacks are even trying to participate in these sports?
"The police profile Blacks." Okay... I might give you this one. But it's really part of a larger issue of police incompetence.
Really, how much of the stuff that is complained about is actually desired by those doing the complaining?
Or how many are even in a position to have a legitimate complaint based solely on race?
Yeah, SeeNew - DV is the master of polemics.
But really it's about the absurdity of perceptions vs. reality.
(And how foolish so many people are to buy into what is being sold.)
The absurdity of what one really wants in order to ensure their happiness - as opposed to what they are told they are supposed to want in order to imagine themselves as happy.
If the situations and objects to be desired are all the same - we run into our current condition of resource competition and the collapse of economies and societies.
It's the variation that makes thing work.


FreeMan said...

I think Happy to most is the ability to find their own happiness uninhibted by others. Some people like to live near the beach even if they don't ever go but imagine if someone said only one group can be on the beach. So maybe Happiness is just being able to do do what you want when you want.

Also my happiest times were when I could provide myself with stability. All the struggle before that was hell on earth. So I wouldn't want to return to that because it wasn't a game and it wasn't a choice it was life.

Big Don said...

Fast-forward to 2016, with Obama health care et al fully developed -- You need cancer treatment, heart bypass, gall bladder surgery...?? Oh, have you ever shown any Republican or Right-wing tendencies...??


uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Believe me - poverty sucks for anyone.
It's not so much the lack of money - so much as the lack of opportunity.
I think that I was more comfortable in those situations because I could always see a way out.

@ Big Don - Who me?
Of course. Most Blacks are conservative - just not Republican.