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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happiness and Human-ness


I wish I could say that the idea to do this came out of nowhere, that I'm just an awesome, spontaneous person, that you would love me because of it. But no. I'm basically trying to analyze and justify my actions, as well as those of humanity, by writing things down. I've been thinking about human reactions to emotional stimuli, which is definitely similar to physical stimuli. You poke someone, they react. You smile at someone, they react. You hurl a slew of insults of their personality at them, they react. It's the most natural response in the world. It's all response in the world. But the emotional responses, those which are taking place in your brain, are not as easy to inspect as the physical responses. That's why I'm trying to make sense of it all.

I'm going to ask you to do a quick assessment of your current position in life now. No, no, forget how much money is in your bank account, forget where you stand in the eyes of those who dislike you. That's not life, that's society, and from now on, I am separating the two, because there's no room in your mind or heart for the both of them. I want you to really think about how positive you are. How do you usually react to good news? How do you react to horrible news? These are probably the best questions to ask yourself if you want to know if you are a generally happy or depressing person. In addition to that, I want you to think about the people in your life. Not nosy co-workers, or annoying classmates. I want you to think about the people who matter. Once you have a clear picture of those, realize that these are the factors of the intensity of your emotional response. Simple as that.

Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness. ~ Mark Twain
It is  a generalization that happy people are perfect in every way. This is believed by those who go by society's ideal of happiness, such as money, excessive material things, "friends" in high places, flawless families. We often picture them with the brightest smiles, with their arms tightly squeezing their super friends. Call me unfair, but I think they are extremely unhappy. If your life is perfect, how the hell do you have fun? Yes, in my case, I actually enjoy working out problems in life, for it often leads me to strengthen relationships with true friends. True friends bring true smiles, true smiles bring true happiness. Some the most cheerful people I met are those who have a horrible life, but their outlook is so damn positive, they defeat it. Every morning we are aware that our current situation does, indeed, suck. Though we hate it, there are times in the day where we will be reminded of those things that bring us down. But what the real happy people are able to do is conquer those reminders, by trying to make it better, not ignoring it. To be happy is to be positive.

Now, think again of your true friends. They aren't necessarily the people you talk to the most. They are the people who "get" you the most. You expect them to take off the mask you are hiding behind. You expect them to know your boundaries. You aren't as afraid to show your tears to them. You laugh the hardest around them. You're not even afraid to "be ugly" in front of them. With them, you are not a classmate, you are not a genius, you are not the person in their 4th period class. You are human. The difference between them and other is the fact that yes, they are aware of your flaws (and yes, darlings, you have many) yet they do not judge you on them. If anything, they will try to help you better them, but they will not leave you because of it. I've learned, much to my dismay, that I am a truly annoying person. Deeper than that, I'm a terrible person.  I've also learned that my friends have their own faults as well. I'd never admit this to their faces, but it is the truth. How do I know this? Again, we're human around each other. Friends (read: humans) aren't supposed to be perfect.

One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human. ~George Santayana

I often think of these "alternate universe" situations. I'm sure you've heard of that crazy multiverse  theory, in which infinite universes exist, where any situation is possible. Perhaps, then, there is a universe where humans can actually live alone. Truly alone. Reproductive purposes aside. They would find joy in things they do. Only themselves. Would pain even exist? True emotional pain, which is arguably, worse than physical pain? In this universe, we need people. Fine, reproductive purposes come back into play. But our definition of "human" requires contact and relationships with other humans.

Doesn't this make you realize that we can reasonably "blame" others for our pain? Think about this. You can never break your own heart... I'm sitting here with my own (broken spirit, rather), and I'm looking back at past incidents, and never before has one arisen that was caused by myself. I may have caused it, in context, by my personality, but what I mean is, it never would have happened if I hadn't encountered that one person. Blame has a very negative feel about it, please do not think I am trying to make myself seem without fault. You can never break your own heart because once you love someone, you put your heart into the hands of you beloved, and they, even if they don't know it, are responsible. 

[A] final comfort that is small, but not cold:  The heart is the only broken instrument that works.  ~T.E. Kalem
So our relationships with humans are the most beautiful things, as well as the ugliest. From these friendships, marriages, families, communities, crushes, unrequited loves, polyamorous loves, sisterhoods, brotherhoods, we derive pure joy and extreme pain. You may think I just attributed all emotional pain to everyone other than myself. Keep in mind I am aware that I, as a human, as a friend, family member, so on, have caused pain, too. I guess you could call this second-hand pain because it bounces back to me.

Looking back at this, no sense was really made out of the information and personal input. I still don't understand exactly what causes these emotional responses. I don't feel "justified" in any way. If anything, I just hope that this struck a chord with you...made you think.

Ugh...cue overdone motivational video. I apologize for this, but I find it somewhat relevant.I do not own this video. I'm not claiming the copyright or anything. Hopefully this site won't mute this and replace it with the fwoop fwooooop techno song, like they do on Youtube. 

Anyway. Don't have a good day. Have a troublesome one. Tomorrow, wake up thinking about your issues. Further than that, think about how you will overcome them instead of pushing them aside.  While you're at it, strengthen your relationships with others by opening up to them, and ask them for help. You return the favor. Don't ignore your problems. Don't leave your friends because of theirs. And smile.