“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Happiness: that elusive goal that seems to escape those who devote their lives to finding it, the people who end up saying that “the journey is more important than the destination.”
Are we really devoting our lives to pursuing happiness? Because I would argue that humans are in the pursuit of safety. We search for something stable. Something that glues our life together, and happiness just happens to have that title. We don’t need exhilarating laughter and sorrow that reaches to the depths of our souls, we need calm, content happiness. In short, we don’t look for joy.
Because we aren’t meant to. We get pushed from all sides to reach for a “normal” life – the American dream has been turned into something suburban, a comfortable home with a good-paying job and a loving husband or wife and the one, two, three kids and a dog or cat. That’s what we think we can strive for, our new version of happiness, because as the gap between wealthy and impoverished, famous and unnoticed grows, there is increasingly less hope for the masses to be something – someone – special. For regular people to be the happiest, the best, the most alive version of themselves.
Maybe that’s what we should ask ourselves.
Are we more afraid of failure or of success? Of safety and settling, or of exhilaration and risks?
Maybe it’s too drastic, in this supposedly crumbling society that we live in. But for years and years and years peoples’ worlds have been breaking at the cracks, because no matter what age we live in, there will be war and turmoil, and sadness, and broken hearts. All the more reason to strive for what you want.
With happier people – with people who try to achieve their dreams with a kind of dogged optimism that somehow always manages to renew itself – maybe we can create a happier world.
A world with hope. A world filled with risk-takers, because after all, Earth seems like the risk-taker of all the planets; the only one that evidently supports life – at least for now. Why should we not follow its example?
So stop chasing mediocrity. Stop deluding yourself into believing that the high-paying position and the warm, loving family is what you want (unless it is, then good luck with achieving it!). Just – go be. Go be the singer. The actor or actress. The small town, large business operator.
Because the change the world needs – it starts when you do what you want, what the founding fathers of America so boldly declared: pursue happiness.