One of my deepest questions I think about frequently is about happiness in life. I read constantly about people being blessed, having the best life, doing awesome things, going on vacation… having the good fortune to do things like sitting all day by the pool, cruising in a boat, head down to LA for the weekend, partying at the coolest club. I always hear the words: “I have the best friend in the world,” or people saying they’re so lucky because they’ve got the latest iPhone before it’s been released onto the market for general consumption…
I guess we all define life differently, and have different experiences and expectations of it. But… bloody hell. Is life supposed to always be happy, the best? I know that media definitely wants us to be pacified with our happiness.. I, for one, am not happy about many things, and I don’t feel I have the best of many things. But, I am definitely ok with this and I cherish my understanding of this.
I don’t have an iPhone, but I have my mind and the ability to read. I can form my opinions – freely of hype and propaganda – and voice my reasoning with fellow concerned individuals.
I don’t have a sports car with sick rims and a new deck and 12″ sub, but I have my health, feet, and eyes that can take me into the forest to discover mother nature and listen to her sing.
I don’t have a tablet computer with the latest mobile version of Photoshop that’s easy and interactive to use for demanding users, but I have a paintbrush, some paints, pens, and paper to encourage my creative mind to allow me to dream up an experience unparalleled by the touch screen.
I don’t have the sickest headphones from Dre with oodles of base to blow my ear drums apart with goodness, but I do have my ears that can hear the sounds of the world with much clarity.
My questions about life are about purpose and spirit. Is it necessary for our spirit to always be happy, or is it ok to have days of contemplation, inner though, and questioning (or even sadness and longing)? Is our purpose in life to be as happy as we possibly can, ignoring the suffering and frailty of human life on planet earth? Is it just natural for us to have good days and some bad days?
I know Eastern thought encourages qi – the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine – and suggest the path to ones life should be found in balance through centering good days and bad days all into sensibly pleasant days. As my friends in Bush X famously repeat: “everything zen.”
I by no means have all the answers. I can’t help but feel a bit of envy for those friends of mine heading out on a boat to wakeboard for the weekend, or getting on a plane to head to Hawaii for a week. But, what I do know about myself is that I am very proud of my chosen path in life. I feel I have the capacity to be aware and experience everything that comes about me in life, from watching the caterpillars walk across the backyard fence, to taking the dog up the hill and tiring him out, and utilizing the modern conveniences like this computer thing I type upon.
This article started off as somewhat of a rant about people always happy with everything and having the best of everything; what I really wanted to say is it’s ok to not believe these people and their seemingly perfect lives. Life isn’t always perfect, happy, safe, or secure, and we can always expect the bad to balance out the good. Just because most people don’t post about the bad all the time, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I feel we have been programmed to only share our happiest of times, to only talk about the successes – which may or may not be good.
Do a test, watch some television and count the advertisements that show people having the best of times, and count the advertisements showing people having the worst of times.
I want to stress how important it is for the self to reflect on these contrasting feelings, to be aware of them, and to come to our own understanding that peace is what’s important, and can be found nestled amongst both axioms of the universe.
May you find answers today my friends.