There is a thing that has been brought up a time or two from various directions and today it struck me in a way that is reverberating around the inside of my skull, clamoring to be shared.
I think it is (mostly) self-evident when looking at the world surrounding me that, somewhere along the way, things took a turn. In particular, I am referring to the fact that happiness is thriving as a counter-culture to the one that most of us are living in.
It pains me that I have to stop and think to realize that, when I gaze around myself at the people inhabiting my world, most of those closest to me are struggling to keep depression and abject misery at bay. In fact, this truth has become so commonplace that it is just accepted as the way things are! I know almost no one who spends their time helping others actually achieve moments of happiness and joy. It seems that, as a rule, we are just too busy trying to keep each other from plummeting into the pits of despair.
Off the top of my head I can give you almost a hundred simple, daily illustrations of this truth but, frankly, I think it is so utterly appalling that I need to come at it all from a different angle.
Hence the illustration I am going to attempt to give as to how happiness has become a sub-culture that is thriving as it strives to run parallel to, and occasionally intersect with, the culture that most of us struggle through our day to day lives living in. (Yes, I know that two things cannot be parallel and yet intercept... We are using words here, not math. Alright?!)
Allow me to begin by sharing a video I was introduced to quite some time ago. It is a video documentary of something that should never have been extraordinary. Yet, because of the way we live our lives, it was not only extraordinary but also tragic, triumphant and, more than a little bit hopeful.
See what I mean? It is horrifying that we live in a world where this was so shocking as to necessitate being banned. Even more terrifying, however, is the fact that... in this day and age, so very very many people can be touched in so profound a way just by the simple act of sharing a hug with a stranger.
Another worrisome and bothersome truth is the simple fact that I find myself envious of those who seem to be in a place that they enjoy. (I know for a fact that I am not alone in this but it is up to everyone else as to whether they care to own up to that truth.) I am not saying that I am unhappy where I am.... Just... Well... You will see what I mean.
I will share two videos to show what I mean by this and then I am going to go find a way to have some fun for myself for just a few minutes. See you after the videos!
Alright, I'm back. Now where the hell are my people and why are we not having that kind of fun together just for the sake of doing so!??!
Why should it be the case that others get to have so much fun when the world doesn't see fit to furnish me with the time or opportunity to have as much fun myself. By no means do I think that those who are enjoying life should stop. To the contrary, I rather think that perhaps the rest of us should take a long hard look at what we are doing and find a way to incorporate more joy and wonder in our own lives.
It occurs to me rather belatedly that many people who know me in the world I currently inhabit are going to find all of this rather hard to accept as having come from my mind. On first impression I, apparently, come off as a dour, mean and miserable person. To those who believe that to be true, I can only say that I am sorry that you do not know who and what I really am. Everything that has been included here are sentiments that I feel from the very bottom of my heart and, more importantly, are truths that I believe in to the very core of my being.
Orson Welles, a tremendous (and sadly deceased) author gave his final interview only a couple hours before his death. At its core, this interview sums up beautifully what I have been trying to explain to everyone for years. Please, watch this last video and pay close attention to, not only the words this wonderful man says, but also to the true feeling and truth behind them.
*Merv: Are certain parts of your life really joyous?
*Orson: Oh yes! There are certain parts of almost every day that are joyous. I am not essentially a happy person but I have all kinds of joy. And there's a difference you know. Because joy is a great big, electrical experience. Just happiness is what a... oh I don't know, a warthog could be happy...
-Orson Welles on the Merv Griffin Show only hours before his death-