Thursday, January 25

The Persuit of Happiness

Running down the road against the freezing wind, I run and run to catch a bus I eventually missed. So I stopped, tried to recuperate my breath and initiated an expression of anger when an old man, dressed in rags, offered me a copy of the "Big Issue". I got my hand in my pocket grabbing those few coins, stretched my arm to reach his,close enough to brush against his coarse-purple looking hands. He was obviously cold so I went and got him a hot drink and something to eat. I am not writing this to make myself a super-hero, not at all. It is just that this small and apparently ordinary and insignificant happening, opened my eyes. The touch of my soft tiny warm hands on this elderly homeless person standing in the cold to make enough money to help him get by, widened the spectrum in my perception of my own circumstances. The running, the cheasing after the wind seem to have become a recurrent theme in my life recently. However, the stopping, the perceived failure, the slowing down, the change of direction is something that I had never taken into account as a desirable and necessary incident. I have spent my entire longevity seeking to be the best I could in every aspect of life. I have sought and tried and, although I have had a few recompenses, the pay-off as most frequently been what can be compared to a walk into a concrete wall, a slap in the face and the train of your life closing its doors and setting off into the sunset as you, dead-meat, stand still watching it go by. When this happens we, perfectionistic idealists, feel like as if the earth was going to open up to swallow us into a place of no return where the pain, although not much different from previous hurts, is too unbearable to allow the continuation of your existence. Last night I went to watch "The Pursuit of Happyness" with Will and Jaden Smith. To me it is a 9/10 movie, definitively worth watching. Masterly directed by the brilliant Gabriele Muccino (The Last Kiss; Remember Me) tells the real story of Christopher Gardener who, without going into too much detail ('cause this is so worth watching), teaches us a massive lesson about what happens to the "goodies" in our society:they are doomed (or appear to be anyway). However the whole story is a running because, as the protagonist narrates, "Jefferson must have been a clever guy to put 'the pursuit, bit attached to the right to happiness in the declaration of Independence". You see happiness doesn't come into microwavable-meals-style-packages. Not even Jesus said that if you would have followed the instructions and done good you would have received all you ever wanted (so much so that in the Beatitudes it is the poor and the afflicted who technically are the most blessed!!!). You know what stuff like this makes me want to carry on. Carry on doing good, carry on giving life your best shot, carring on seeing the good in humanity, carry on loving unconditionally 'cause even when you are perceived as doomed, the running towards coherence, honour and Love are worth the pursuit of happiness.

11 comments:

Baron Hashbrown said...

"The Pursuit of Happyness" - That's amusing to me. 'Happyness' is not a proper word just like 'pursuing happyness (or happiness)' is also impossible. Happiness is something we have inside us, it's a state of mind not. We might not be conscious of it but whether we are happy or not is a decision that we all make each day. If the glass is half empty or half full is up to you. There is nothing to pursue, it's already there we just have to see it. The poor and the afflicted are indeed blessed because they are equally capable of being happy as the rich, famous and powerful.
My second favorite poem:

http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/2579.html

Also, while I'm preaching my nonsense, yes, you should definitely keep at it. If you don't live and love unconditionally, if you don't take the risks you won't experience these things which make life so good. We all have a lot to learn from your enthusiasm and passion for life!

Baron Hashbrown said...

oops sorry a stray 'not' got in there. It's not Waynes World speak!

Jay said...

It's an interesting idea...
...
...yep that's all I have to offer to the discussion :)

The Wee Italian Chick said...

Thanks for the intervention,Jay ;-)
Baron,I like your thinking.The concept of "in-built-happiness" if you wish..however happiness to me is that astonishing reality of well being which persists even when life is,quite frankly,shit. The unchangability of God's nature,His constant,unconditional Love and Grace are what inspires my happiness through the thick and the thin...that's me.

The Wee Italian Chick said...

BTW:That poem is so cute!It's not exactly Elisabeth Barret Browning or Shakespeare, but it's refreshingly "happy". I think you should blog about it sometime..

The Wee Italian Chick said...

Also,Baron,I think you are right about the Beatitudes.Indeed,happiness,joy,laughter and human richness are free and,as such,span across generation and are not prejudice.

Baron Hashbrown said...

I think what I mean is that a major part of happiness is contentment and that is certainly our own choice. It's like that Buddhist saying about wanting what you have rather than having what you want.

The happiest people tend to be the ones who are easiest to satisfy and as the poem illustrates: the less you want, the more you have. ...?

Jay said...

http://www.weblogcartoons.com/calendars/cartoonchurch_calendar07.pdf

The Wee Italian Chick said...

Jay:the link doesn't work anymore - pants! I am really curious now!

Zucchini said...

you know what? i was trying to pass my comments on your photo, but i failed, you look so cute, i am leaving bangkok to Holland then to south america and panam, curacao too, i wish i can pass by your country.
take good care
keep smile please
Regards,
Zuch

The Wee Italian Chick said...

Mmmm...i think this is getting like the "chicken and egg" thing..My non-conclusive conclusion is that contentment is a big constituent of happiness, but not its substitute nor synonim. But indeed:we should so rejoice in what we already have!Good thoughts.