Pursuit of happiness

Five miles out to sea and lost in thought, he watches the birds and sips from a tall glass of champagne.

Happiness is distraction.  Those searching will never find happiness, because it lives in the search.  An old man looking for his glasses when they are on his head the whole time or the children so excited by Christmas that they experience disappointment on the day.  Happiness is in the detail and little things that come along, the bird song or the quiet afternoon, the rush of energy.  Essentially happiness is non existent and all we really feel is contentment, relaxation or adrenaline.

She looked across the room at her assembled family and knew that it had been worth it.

The search for happiness assumes an end, like the contestant who fights for fame on a TV game show and tells the host that this is the moment that his or her life has been building up to.  How sad when this comes from a girl of 14 or even a man in his fifties.  Some people gain pleasure from their children and families, but childbirth is horrific, happiness is in being a parent, a perpetual and ever changing state without end.  Is the true pleasure of sex orgasm or the act itself?  Orgasm feels good, but it also brings the end and and only underlines the impossibility of constant pleasure.

They hold hands and listen for the silence between the rain drops.

Do we choose to be happy or unhappy?  Is our enjoyment of life purely down to perception?  Thus a torturer can find happiness in evil work the same as a skydiver jumping from an airplane and how is this happiness any different?  Happiness represents the participation in activities that that are neutral of good or evil.

In his room the old man sits in a weathered leather chair and begins to read a book.

Without misery could we perceive happiness?  Life would be a bland.  The images on the news and stories in the paper, the gossip at work and the lives of others are our measuring sticks for enjoyment.  Sadness is a starting point; failure a reset where after loosing everything we have it all to gain.

A deft touch and the ball hits the back of the net.  The crowd explodes.

Some gather objects around them to make their lives comfortable and naturally these adornments demonstrate wealth, power and importance.  For some this would seem a fragile happiness, artificial and fleeting.  Our morality gives us happiness in relationships, good deeds and simple pleasures, but is this the illusion of the oppressor who knows the danger in everyone wanting too much?  Money will never make you happy, but only poverty can make you starve.

She spoke her first word.

Are animals happy?  The dog in the corner of this room certainly looks it.  Maybe we start happy and the stresses of this world chip away until the very end.  Do we pursue happiness or run from sorrow?


The pursuit of happiness

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About Roy Smith

Roy Smith lives in the Medway Towns, where he works with young people and spends a lot of time writing nonsense and enjoying himself. Most of his writing happens at night and other inconvenient moments, when he is regularly interrupted by his dog and the desire to play old video games.

One response to “Pursuit of happiness”

  1. Marilyn says :

    Good piece. If you ever find this thing called ‘Happiness’ please point me in the right direction, although I imagine it would be in a place where everything looks and tastes like Smarties. 🙂

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