The Pursuit of happiness
You hear, almost daily, about people not being happy, the pursuit of happiness, comfort foods, being in uncomfortable situations, Ad nauseam.
We have happy hour, happy meals, happy holidays, happy thoughts, and finding our “happy place”.
But what does it mean to be happy? What is happiness?
From one online dictionary, we have this definition:
a : a state of well-being and contentment
b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience
What about comfort or being comfortable?
Again from an online dictionary:
a : affording or enjoying contentment and security
b : affording or enjoying physical comfort
a : free from vexation or doubt
b : free from stress or tension
When you hear people talk about being happy or being comfortable, it is often used in the context of buying something that will make them happy or having enough money to be comfortable.
But being happy and being comfortable come from within, not without.
Now when I’m talking about physical discomfort, I’m not talking about discomfort related to a medical condition. However, often we have physical discomfort because of the condition we have allowed ourselves to get into.
I am talking primarily about mental and emotional discomfort. And I’m also talking about true happiness, not what the media and corporations tell us we need to have or be to be happy.
How much of what you think you need to be happy is formed by what you see on TV, movies or what your friends or family have? Do you really need that new pickup (which depreciates the second you buy it) or did you friend just buy a new ride and suddenly the 15 year old pickup you had, that was fine before yesterday, isn’t good enough?
Do you need a new mongo sized flat panel TV? Isn’t the useless shit that comes out of the screen the same from your old 19″ as it is from a 60″ screen? Or did you see it advertised on TV as being the latest, greatest technology and now you just have to have it to watch useless shit in HD?
If your happiness is dictated from influences outside yourself, you will be no happier than the sheep in front of you that you are following.
If your comfort level is dictated by only being with your own age, race, culture or people in the same economic standard as you are, you are missing a whole world of knowledge and experience.
A large part of being a wolf is being comfortable and happy in almost any circumstances. Keep in mind that “happy” is synonymous with “content”. You don’t have to be jumping up and down for joy to be happy but just content with your place in life and what you are doing.
Happiness should not be defined by having more “toys” than the next person but because you are a free thinker, make your own decisions, are in good health and physical condition. The things you buy are what you truly need, not what the corporations tell you will make you happy. The corporations put out this continuous line of bullshit and depend on you buying this line. They don’t give a flying fuck if you buy yourself into debt, there will be other sheep to take your place when you go bankrupt.
The sheep are “happy” because their lifestyle is dictated by others, by a sort of group think. Their comfort comes by being with others that are essentially carbon copies of themselves.
The wolves are happy or content being by themselves or with their pack. Watching the flock is a form of entertainment for the wolves but while entertaining, it is a puzzling activity they are observing. We are puzzled not because we don’t understand what the sheep are doing but because we don’t understand the reasons why anyone would want to act that way.
If a wolf finds himself (or herself) amongst the sheep, he will still be comfortable but rest assured, the flock won’t be.
Being amongst the flock (but not part of it), may even make the wolf happy since we do seem to get a perverse pleasure from seeing the looks of apprehension, or dare I say fear, in the eyes of the sheep.
Another example between a wolf and a sheep can be seen in churches, political gatherings or social events.
If you put a sheep into a new situation, such as a church different from their own religion, even though he is among other sheep, they are not his flock. Their religious views, political thinking or social standing is not the same as his flock. This may challenge his thinking, force him to explore his own views and he does not like this….at all.
But a wolf in that same situation will be comfortable and open minded. Listening to all viewpoints even the ones that challenge his views. He will either dismiss these as being not for him, modify his views based on new information or actually change his own view 180 degrees since he will find that his way was wrong. The wolves will do this, they will admit when they are wrong and correct their path to the correct direction. The sheep, since they are only following the ass in front of them, wont’ change their path except when the flock does.
When it comes to consumerism, the sheep purchase based on advertisements, fads or envy of what someone else has. They will run up credit card bills when the fashion seasons change to buy the latest fashion which covers their asses no better than what they had bought 3 months earlier.
Now don’t get me wrong, we wolves also love our gadgets but we buy for need, not want. And when we do buy, we research to make sure we are buying quality. We buy to survive, not to invoke envy from another. You could say that a lot of wolves are minimalist in relation of what their economic status is. For example, a wolf that makes a 6 figure income will have nice stuff but it won’t be useless junk that will be obsolete in 6 months like a sheep in the same income bracket. The things that wolves purchase are often of such quality that their family will fight over these things after they are dead.
In the area of comfort, just observe the differences between the wolves in the wild and the sheep in their flocks. The sheep only travel, rest and eat in the same places as the flock does while the wolves will roam, explore, find new things to investigate. The wolves are content to plop down and rest wherever they are, with the pack or not.
So the bottom line here can be found in this quote: “Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.” – Chuang-Tzu (350 B.C.)
If you have to strive for happiness, sorry to tell you my wooly friend but you will never have true happiness. As long as you allow your happiness be defined by others, you will never be happy. You may think you are happy, but that is nothing more than an illusion of happiness that is being defined by another person or by your flock.
The day you can look around you and be satisfied and content with what you have and who you are, regardless of what society says you should have or be to be happy, that will be true happiness and perhaps you will find that your wool is now a beautiful coat of fur.