Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PURSUING BEING "HAPPY"

Oh goody, I thought, as I opened my magazine and read the story  that went with the cover picture. I figured it was an article about how to enjoy the summer.    

It was by Jeffrey Kruger, senior editor for Time, who has written more than 40 cover stories, and eight books on science and technology. The article was seven pages long, chock-full of facts about being happy in America, and our natural impulse to pursue happiness. 

The article started interestingly, with the Pilgrims arriving in Jamestown, Massachusetts, determined to pursue happy lives in the new world. It continued, decade by decade -- detailing what was new and how it affected us -- light bulbs, electricity, phones, railroads, autos -- things like the Hoover Dam that expanded our ability to obtain food, money, comfortable living, and recreation -- things we are still improving as we pursue being happy today.

Explaining that the pursuit of happiness fires up the need to seek other ways to be happy, the article included percentage numbers -- how many people, male, female, rich, poor, working, or unemployed, felt they were happy  (or not happy) -- were they optimistic or pessimistic -- were they, or weren't they as happy as they expected to be at this stage of life -- did or didn't they believe social media helped them.

There was a double-page spread called "Games of Happiness" that showed pathways for pursuing pleasure -- how work, romance, having kids, your childhood, aging, your life style (exercise, watching TV, volunteer work, having pets -- it was huge life style list  -- how all those things affect affected happiness

On each page, author Kruger dutifully listed his sources: "Journal of Labor Research," "Journal of Positive Psychology," "Bureau of Labor Statistics," "World Happiness Report," "Psychosomatic Medicine," "Journal of Positive Psychology," "MTV Research and Strategic Insights."  The names bothered me -- the statistics bothered me -- the author seemed to be proving something about happiness, but what?   
 
Hey, go read the article -- c;lick -- this is a link! It's a ton of stuff that adds onto a ton of information that's already lying on top of us, squashing our thoughts and feelings. Nowadays, we're told and sold what's good; asked to like/dislike, approve/disapprove, vote yay or nay -- react immediately. No wonder newspapers, magazines, and publishers are going out of business -- reading, and thoughtfully digesting information is, nowadays considered, by many, to be a big waste of time.

Hey guys, c'mon!  If you want to be happy, zero in on you -- taste, smell, touch, see, hear, and PERCEIVE how you feel -- just be you, a single, solitary individual who's doing something, and is focused on doing the work of your work.

The info in Time is mudifying and nullifying something that's obtainable if you practice perceiving and doing what feels right.  


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