What Makes You Happy?

Posted 2/25/10 by D-Mac

It’s a simple question that I don’t think most of us look in the mirror and ask ourselves enough.. and even when we do, I don’t think we spend enough time trying to answer honestly.

Think about all of the hours of your day. Think about all of the time you spend reading about, watching television about and debating about what amounts to a whole lot of utter nonsense in the grand sceheme of things. Politics? Sports? Religion? Movies? Music? The list goes on.. and really, how many times in life has debating with someone and listening to their viewpoint about something really ended up changing your mind about an issue? Once, twice.. maybe three times a lady?

What does debate and argument really do except allow you to regurgitate all of the information that you’ve digested from the media in the hopes that you’ve read more newspaper articles or have seen more History Channel programs about a specific topic than your “opponent”? We like to think that we’re a nation of scholarly debate trying to bring about change for the greater good.. but really, all we are is one giant pissing contest spewing facts and figures gleaned from people we don’t even know yet somehow trust completely, to try and beat someone else into submission with our facts and figures.

And why do we do all of this? Does anyone really care about what the hell we’re even talking about half of the time? I mean, c’mon.. Republican or Democrat.. think of all of the time you’ve debated about taxes or other social policies.. when the reality is, no matter what the people in power choose to do, when it comes to your paycheck.. for the average person.. what does it add up to.. a swing of a couple hundred bucks a year, at most? So let’s say for example’s sake.. tax reform not going in your favor costs you a grand total of $200 for the year.. so for the forty hours you spent over the year, reading about it, watching tv about it and debating about it with your peers.. congrats, you just worked a 40 hour week and accomplished absolutely nothing for $5 an hour.. or less than minimum wage, which you probably have an opinion on too. 😉

Think about the Tiger Woods situation. If you’ve found yourself talking to other people about how much you don’t care about the Tiger Woods situation.. raise your hand.

Then there’s the flip side..

“Well, you should care about this.”

Think about all of the times you’ve been told in life that you “should” care about something. Maybe I’m off base but I tend to believe that it’s human nature that there’s a a direct correlation between caring about something and geographical proximity. It’s why most people can flip the channel right past the starving child in a country you know nothing about whose life you can make better for the price of a cup of coffee a day.. yet will get their panties in a bunch because some guy you don’t know personally, who happens to own a sports team that plays a half hour away from where you live,  just overpaid a free agent with money that’s not yours.. yet you feel he hasn’t spent wisely, so let’s argue about it with someone that thinks the player was a good pick up for the team. Look at how ridiculous that sounds.. yet what guy in this country can honestly say he hasn’t been guilty of doing  exactly this?

You either genuinely care about something or you don’t and when you don’t, society has taught us to just go along with it and pretend that we do. Do I recycle? Yes. Do I do it because I care about the environment? Honestly.. no. I do it because I’m scared that if I put bottles and cans in the regular garbage..  that somehow when the garbageman lifts the bag and if it breaks, that a Yeungling bottle will tumble out and he’ll take down my address and alert the proper authorities who will take money out of my pocket.

Oh, you could sit here and read me the riot act showing me study upon study about the environment going to hell in a handbasket unless I start caring.. but it won’t make a difference. Matter of fact, I’ll see your “global warming” and raise you an “ozone layer”. Really, why get caught up in and all worked up about a cause that will just be completely forgotten about by the mainstream media a decade or two from now. Did that hole in the ozone layer ever get smaller by the way? Does anyone know?

Is it wrong that I don’t care? Am I the only one that feels this way? I highly doubt it.. but I think the people that don’t care, care so little that they don’t even care enough to tell people how they really feel.. so you end up with these one way arguments and just to run with this example.. environmental advocates debating against essentially nobody. And in reality, the offshoot of having no opponent to debate is the creation of  a seperate argument.. of does global warming actually exist, with a new opponent stepping up.. not filled with people who don’t care about the environment.. but with people who just think the global warming people and all of their facts and figures are full of it and thus, not only is it not a debate about the environment anymore.. but it now becomes a liberal vs. conservative political debate. Are we having fun yet? And what does any of this accomplish? Does a bunch of talking heads on television arguing about facts and figures make you any less inclined to stick dead batteries in the garbage (but making sure they are in a wrapped up Doritos bag, in case of the aforementioned garbage police dropping your bag and revealing your shame to the proper authorities again?)

So why are we always constantly arguing, debating, complaining.. I think it’s because we’re bored. Simple as that.. Oh, don’t get me wrong, you may have a “to-do” list sitting on your desk that is longer than the amount of hours in the day.. but being busy doesn’t mean you can’t be bored. We’re all in the same boat. A whole world filled with people who have no clue why they’re here or what they should be doing. Whole lifetimes with hours upon hours to try and fill up with stuff to do. And the kicker is, most of us think we have no choice but to fill it up with stuff we don’t even want to do.. all in the name of that elusive thing called happiness.

So, what will make you happy? Will it be getting married? Will it be having kids? Will it be getting that promotion at work? Will it be buying your “dream” home? Will it be a vacation house with a boat slip? Will it be to have the author of this piece stop asking so many questions or..using.. ellipses.. because.. his grammar.. is horrendous? 😉

Coming soon.. Part 2: “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands..”



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