Monday, February 7, 2011

Thoughts on Happiness

I’ve spent the better part of the last year in a period of extended observation, carefully and deliberately examining the world around me. I’ve noticed one thing that I thought I would share today. Society, through the media, is hell-bent on convincing you that you are not happy and that you can find happiness if only you take these steps, which, inevitably, involve purchasing and using some sort of product. It is pretty astounding.

This observation speaks to the value and importance of turning off the influences of mass media, or, if you are not up to turning them off, carefully and deliberately choose which influences you allow in your life. Today, as I took a brief break and read the latest issue of a magazine (which magazine doesn’t really matter), I noticed how many of the articles were “selling products disguised as happiness”. It’s pretty impressive.

Happiness, depending on how you define it, is rarely available for purchase. Yes, you can purchase things that shape the environment you are moving through, but those things rarely, in themselves, bring you happiness. There might be some exceptions to that – for example, a quality bed can definitely lead to a good night’s sleep, which can be a major component of happiness. (I definitely worship at the temple of sleep.) Many of the things that society urges you to purchase or acquire though are rarely associated with happiness, which is, primarily, an inner feeling, a sense of contentment and meaning.

The bit of wisdom I would pull from this is something that T.R. frequently reminds me of…be careful of what you let into your mind, because it all takes root there, in one form or another.

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