20 February, 2007

The Happiness Dilema

First, let me say that I was just a little surprised that nobody really enjoyed "Havidol". That was one of the best parody sites I've ever seen. I don't know exactly who that joker is, but s/he did a fantabulous job of using common medical jargon to mock the medicos. I spent a half-hour out there laughing at all the little details worked into the spoof.

I mean, the trademark name of drug is, "Have it All," but the chemical name is "Have a Fine Time HCI." How rich is that!

Anyway, today's post is not a spoof.

I always read Scientific American's Michael Shermer. He is their local skeptic and atheist. I don't read him to keep up with "the latest attacks" on Christianity. I read it because the guy is smart, and has a great eye for the ludicrous. This month, he nails happiness right on the head. Here is one of his quotes from Gregory Berns:

"While you might find pleasure by happenstance--winning the lottery, possessing the genes for a sunny temperament, or having the luck not to live in poverty--satisfaction can arise only by the conscious decision to do something. And this makes all the difference in the world, because it is only your own actions for which you may take responsibility and credit."

Another example:

Most of us imagine that variety is the spice of life, ... subjects in the no-variety group said that they were more satisfied than the subjects in the variety group.

I cannot tell you whether I am happier than I was 10 years ago, but I know I'm more satisfied.

Ummm. Might be nice if I included a link to the post I'm blathering about.
(Can't get no) Satisfaction


Milly said...

I thought it funny. I said spider in my soup. I wanted to play along. I think at times we are in need of a have it all drug. Milly looks over at her new “Red” phone. . . and if you have read my comments on the Thinklings I ask why do so many love Bono. . .and now I possess the “Red” phone. I don’t know how to use it all but it has a camera and I can make a movie and I can get my e-mail and . . . and . . My friend will need to reprogram it and teach me how to use it. I can talk on it and now that I’ve taught my husband he can talk on his. Gee and I thought I might need a Blackberry kind of thing. Heheheh I’d still be trying to turn it on.

I can't remember me ten years ago.

I don’t give my happiness a lot of thought most of the time any more.

BarBarA said...

Very good quotes about happiness.
i am not sure if I am happier or more satisfied than ten years ago...but I don't think so.

pearlie said...

I cannot tell you whether I am happier than I was 10 years ago, but I know I'm more satisfied.

Hmm ... I am not sure. Sometimes I think I am because on hindsight I am more mature and can think straighter but sometimes I think not because I am more mature, more jaded, gone are the innocence.

Lynne said...

Doh! I missed the satire! It wasn't April 1st, you see!
Happy? satisfied? The short answer is, darned if I know!! The longer, considered answer? My life and my self are definitely more together, I'm certainly not having to fight the overwhelming, almost suicidal sense of worthlessness that afflicted me then (long story, dealing with abuse issues had a lot to do with it) But because I'm no longer numb etc, I have much lower tolerance for certain things in my personal life, and one situation in particular actually causes far more pain than it used to.

codepoke said...

I posted a long, thoughtful reply to these excellent comments, but technical difficulties caused it to be lost.


Your thoughts correct me, and I appreciate them. Please bear with me. I plan to raise my answer to the level of a new post, so look for it this weekend.

Missy said...

Raising kids has given me unexpected happines, but it is balanced by a somberness that makes it hard to label my life as "happy." Parenting has left me with the realization that I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over anything! Control used to bring me great happiness, but it was an illusion.

I would say I am content. I am at peace with the who, what and where that I am - but not satisfied. I know there are things I could and should be doing that I am not, so no satisfaction. But I am content that this is where God has me at this moment and hopefully will lead me to the victories I crave.

Does that even make sense?