Monday, September 10, 2012
I don't have to be at work until 2pm today. Which has meant a leisurely morning of coffee and the first cool winds of fall through my east facing windows. Apparently, what also occurs in these daytime hours, is that the elderly gay couple in the house across from mine in the courtyard plays classical music with the windows open. And it's really, really peaceful. I could get used to this.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
I actually attack the concept of happiness.
I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness.
It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep', and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on.
We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish.
Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are.
Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much.
Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!'
I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness'.
Ask yourself 'is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
-Hugh Mackay, psychologist and social researcher