What is Happiness? Sandwichman | July 12, 2022 6:28 am Hot Topics Politics US Economics What is Happiness? Post your entries in the comments. Sandwichman WILL JUDGE THEM. Tags: happiness Comments (16) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Remastered 2009)
…or the ever popular happy wife = happy life.
thanks for this, these. I heard happy wife.. for the first time just the other day from a guy in the English Midlands, who seemed happy enough with a marriage that looked nothing like anything i have heard or seen in any american movie or magazine since 1950.
saved me from saying something totally invidious. i’m happier for that.
Happiness is a state of mind. For many, it is unreachable as Ibn Bob suggests below. I take happiness seriously though, just not ritually as the Buddhist with their inner peace, bliss, and contentment mantras. So, my inspirations range from the serenity prayer OTOH and the well worn joke “Life’s a bitch and then you die” OTOH. However, the most galvanizing life experience in this respect was seeing loaded body bags stacked up high along the wall in the barn next door in 101st Admin Co at Phu Bai during an I-Corp NVA offensive back in September 1970. We had run out of pine shipping boxes as there were so many body bags coming in.
…as an alternative to being surrounded by death, then living a while homeless and hungry might also galvanize one’s perception of happiness. If having everything that one might possibly want will not lead to happiness, then having nothing that one might need could illuminate the way.
“the way that is the way cannot be spoken”
there are no shortcuts. no formulas. not even a definition.
i think Jesus is said to have said “i am the way…” which i have taken to mean “i am” “the way” which does not make me either a taoist or a “christian.” if ol’ jc meant anything i think he meant that it did not matter what you called him, or thought you were “worshipping” as long as you were on “the way” you were on the right path. or some such gobbledegook. (that’s my gobbledegook, not his.)
as someone here said,, as long as you are looking for happiness you are not going to find it.
i did not have the experiences you had, some people, i have heard, who did, most certainly did not find happiness. neither, i suspect, did many who found themselves in concentration camps courtesy of the last great leap for happiness by leaders who knew the way and the people who believed them.
or as john prine said, eat a lot of peaches.
Yes sir – and find Jesus on their own.
James Branch Cabell, Figures of Earth, chapter xxi. Manuel is being asked by a supernatural being what he desires: is it happiness?
“I have seen but one happy person,” Manuel replied. “He sat in a dry ditch, displaying vacant glittering eyes, and straws were tangled in his hair, but Tom o’ Bedlam was quite happy. No, it is not happiness I desire.”
The Marquis de Chastellux in his Essay on Public Happiness:
Chastellux’s calculation has broader implications, as Garry Wills has shown in Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. In chapter 10, Wills outlined how Chastellux’s definition of public happiness informed Jefferson’s meaning in the famous phrase about the “pursuit of happiness.” In a 1952 speech he never gave, Dwight Eisenhower cited Jefferson in what is almost an abbreviated paraphrase of Chastellux’s calculation: “If we can but prevent government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”
I’m guessing but Chestellux seems to be talking about leisure time, and I think Ike is talking about taxes. Meanwhile economists start about by saying the wants of man are infinite…seeming not quite to put a value on “leisure’ time….that is time to use as he wishes, not neessarily in pursuit of “more.”
I suspect real economists get around this by talking about a “demand” for leisure. Which also seems to work out it you don’t pay the rich enough they will not work. But if you pay the poor too much they will not work. And if you give them enough to live on without working, they will not work at all.
I may have this all wrong, but none of these ideas seems to me to be adequate. I like to work when it is real work. I don’t in general like to work for bosses who seem to be either cheating me or abusing me. But a good boss who pays a fair wage and does not abuse me doing work that is useful to “the common good” and not just to the boss or his boss… generally seems like a fair deal. As for work that i choose, or that benefits me, even if it is not especially pleasant, I don’t mind that much, though I can get tired from time to time.
Does any of this help?
Yes sir, precisely but not completely though. Completely would take an entire volume, a book such as the one written about Working by Studs Terkel although that just scratched the surface of the complicated relationship that binds work, leisure, income, and personal feelings of worth and self-esteem and that in addition to my mom’s “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” OTOH most people live longer the earlier that they can retire and OTOH some people lose their sense of purpose and become unbearable to live with after they retire. A few even commit suicide.
Self-esteem is by itself a diverse and complex subject. E.g., elite intellectuals shore themselves up without the necessity of productive work by merely assuming that everyone else is just average.
speaking of entire books, “Desert Solitaire” by he whose name cannot be mentioned here has some words on “happiness” and work [and incidentally mentions his friend who has a mexican-sounding name, which you would not expect in a man called racist by those elite who know about these things]. I mention this partly to tweak the Bear, but also for the insight on “happiness.” I need to read Terkel again, too. You can never tell where you might meet the Buddha on the road.
and yes to your observations on retirement and suicide. i don’t know if those who can’t find life after work had their souls suffocated by accomodating themselves to the work [or education] that was available, or if they never had a chance to develop one in the first place…which is an altogether scary thought.
your mom was right…but that’s another book.
Much thanks on that reference to Eddie Abbie (sp). Sounds exactly like my kind of guy although kindred to Mister Hoffman only in spirit.
BTW, in most cases from what I have seen, then the scarier thought. Career begins at graduation, but conformity begins at birth. What little brain that develops is thoroughly washed by the need to fit it. Smart phones and social networking are the latest apparatus of social conformity and almost all that is left for one that does not have the requisite 2 and 1/2 soccer playing children. A German made auto is good for the image, but does not meld as well as a Honda, Toyota, or Subaru.
IOW, happiness is having what everyone else wants :<)