Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Whatever Makes You Happy

Life is not about the pursuit of meaning. Anyone who spends their whole lives trying to do something for which they will be remembered is absolutely full of grandeur. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with grandeur, I have a heaping helping of it at least once each day. Keeps the ego up, you see. Most of us grandeurous people don't particularly mind whether or not anybody else has high aspirations for themselves, or whether or not their aspirations fit nicely into out definition of "High aspirations". In fact, the more people who aspire to be completely different from us, the less competition there is in that whole "Being remembered" thing.

But not everybody can be like that. Some people seem to hold everybody to impossible standards. I'm sure you know at least one of these people, but chances are that most of the people you know are like this. These are the people who are like your extended family or your your in-laws. They will never be satisfied with your profession, with your income, with your lifestyle, with your political allegiance, with your interests, your hobbies, or your skills. You will never be good enough for these people no matter how hard you try. If you operate your own business, you do not have a "real" job and are wasting time on a hobby. If you work for somebody else, you have failed at reaching the status of Corporate God and are wasting time in a "Dead-end job". You see how this is? No matter what you do, it isn't going to be the "Right" thing.

So these people with their undefined expectations, they typically haven't ever reached the level of success or acclaim they feel others should. Perhaps these are jaded people projecting their failed life on all others, and unless somebody they know succeeds where they couldn't, everybody who encounters them is a failure? That's what it seems like to me.

One of these people is somebody with whom I have been quite acquainted the majority of my life. This individual often feels that it is their duty to educate those around them on how they should be conducting themselves, despite contradicting themselves with every word. This individual spends all day lamenting the fact that they never graduated from college, that they should have stayed in school, that they got married, and that nobody around them seems to want to go anywhere with their life.

"There were these people I once worked with," they say. "These people, they were such losers. We went on this trip once, right? Across multiple states. So the company was paying for us to stay at a hotel for the night, and these people I was with, they were happy to just drink their beer, smoke some pot, and play video games all night long. It was like paradise for these morons. They could sit around all night acting like zombies in the glow of that stupid screen without any parents or wives to yell at them! And they were content and happy to just spend the rest of their lives doing that, day in and day out. They never wanted to be anything more, and they're never going to be, because they're losers."

Interesting.

Very interesting.

In my personal opinion, I don't think anybody should care what anybody else chooses to do with their lives. And I especially don't think we should expect everyone to have the same dreams of fame and fortune as we do. Sure, there might not be a person among us who hasn't wished to win the lottery, but I think that has more to do with inherent greed than any desire to leave a legacy. So somebody wants to spend their lives playing video games. They're a loser because of that? That happy fellow over there grinning like a fool, despite "Wasting" his life playing a video game, is more of a failure than the eternally unhappy "Intellectual" who held himself to undefined and unreasonable goals?

Dear audience, let me ask you a question.

What is success? How is it measured?

Is success measured by the amount of things you've contributed to humanity? Is it measured by the amount of adoring fans you have? Is success measured by the number of zeroes in your bank statement? Is success measured by the amount of political pull you have acquired?

Is that kind of success even worth it if you're god damn fucking miserable every second of every day?

In my not-so-humble opinion (because I am among the grandeurous camp, remember, so my opinion is of course full of ego and correctness) success should be measured solely by the individual's satisfaction with their life (provided, of course, they are not responsible for another individual. In which case the situation is slightly changed). Why should it bother you that somebody spend their time play video games? Why does it bother you that doing that makes them happy? Why does it bother you that they don't need to "Reach for something more" to be happy?

Seriously? Here's what I think:

There's only one way to live life, and if you're not happy, you're doing it wrong.

Just let people be satisfied with themselves and keep your vague notion of success to yourself, please, for the love of humanity and the sanctity of our sanity.

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