by Julie Parker
“I don’t want to be happy,” my friend informed me. “I want to be content.”
“But,” I argued, “’content’ is ‘settling.’ Wouldn’t you like to raise the bar?”
If you achieved all of your goals, would you be happy or content? I recently read an interesting book entitled Happiness™, by Will Ferguson, which satirically addresses the self-help industry. The main character works at a publishing house, which decides to print a monstrous 1,000 plus page manuscript. Its author scoured every single self-help concept ever devised into a single volume.
It immediately becomes a bestseller. People are now comfortable with who they are, resulting in entire industries going out business. Weight loss products, smoking addiction clinics, diet centers, gyms, home exercise products, miracle baldness cures, and the fast food industry (loss of need for “instant oral gratification”) are kaput. Cosmetics and perfumes gather dust “Dour Calvin Klein models stood on street corners, holding up signs, ‘Will pout for food.’ … America had become … a Very Happy Land. The Valium of Nations.”
Coincidentally, shortly after reading that book, I was hired to proofread/edit a local author’s manuscript on how to achieve happiness. The client had also researched a bit, and wanted to share what he had learned with the world. It wasn’t enlightening, and I don’t believe it will cause much of a stir, but publishing the book will, at least, bring happiness to its author.
“Happiness runs in a circular motion, thought is like a little boat upon the sea, everybody is a part of everthing anyway, you can have everything if you let yourself be.” Donovan also sang, “Goo-goo, Koo-koo, barabajagal,” so, do what you will with that.
Wise are those who embrace laughter, tranquil landscapes, hugs, healthy meals, friendships, a glass of wine, campfires, and s’mores,
And they lived happily ever after.