Friday, August 13, 2010

happiness, meaning, or eating

Here's a nice false trichotomy. Happiness, that's what it's all about right? Not so fast poncho. Eventually this would be a wonderful side effect to the activities that I choose to engage in, but for me it's not the decisive factor. I could go on being miserable for the rest of my life and feel reasonably satisfied when the end comes, yes, maybe even happy about it. Of course this is dependent on being miserable over the right types of things.

I hit the pavement, and run the streets; I repeatedly get punched in the face; I move ponderous amounts of iron; I sit down then make up some errand to distract myself, sit down again, and after much tribulation, and mental anguish force myself to write some story, or draw some picture. None of these activities are particularly pleasurable, but there is deep a sense of meaning and satisfaction surrounding each of them for me. I don't know where the meaning originates from, but it's there calling to me, always beckoning me back, even when I feel that I've had enough.

Unfortunately, I see no monetary reward in the near or even distant future by following my passions. Eating is always a priority. Do I resign myself to a life of quiet desperation and eek out an existence in the current manner, using my philosophy degree to think deep thoughts as I go about my labors, doing for work what convicts in the past were consigned to as punishment for their crimes (I'm a laborer at the minute)? Man cannot live by bread alone, but without bread man can't live at all. I've got to pay the bills somehow.

What if it were possible though, to do something that brought me meaning as well as money so I could eat? Well, then I think I could say that I was truly happy.

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