I lurk High Existence a lot, because honestly I just don’t have a lot to contribute most of the time. Today however, I thought I’d share my .02 because I noticed something recently that made me think. Nowadays, particularly on HE, there are many conversations floating around about getting past the system of 9-5’s, debt, etc. Generalities associated with being working class citizens. I hear, “Well we should become self sustaining, or entrepeneurs, or move to a foreign country”. I really think a lot of people are missing the point.
I’m strolling through high school at the moment (well not strolling, I’m being dragged), and right after school I work until about 9:30 PM, sleep, rinse and repeat. Now granted I don’t work a desk job all day under an oppressive boss or some shit, I can relate to a lot of people’s feelings of their current state of living. I used to do a lot of drugs, simply because they made me happy. I swerved into the field of psychadelics, dissociatives, etc., and I often got that content, almost enlightened feeling because of them. I did a lot of thinking about what exactly I’m looking for, and quite simply it’s being happy. Most people know this already though. I recently sobered up for the most part, going from all day every day user to maybe once or twice every couple weeks. Physically, my body appreciates it lol, and mentally it was a drag. I got past that phase though, and I decided to pursue the same feeling I’ve always wanted.
I work at a grocery store, and I bag groceries and load up people’s cars for tips only. Not exactly a fulfiling job, but I’ve recently put my mind to being happy. Just like some people really put their mind to getting good grades in school or something, I just try to enjoy everything. There isn’t some deep moral to my story, I just want to encourage people to put their mind to being happy more often with what they already have. I work both indoors and outdoors a lot, and the other week it was thunderstorming like crazy; the military base I work out made annoucements telling everyone to stay indoors because of the weather, but I still had to work. People appreciate the effort I put into my job and making a good impact on other people’s day, and I enjoy it simply because it brings me joy to help other people be happy. Sometimes they treat me like crap, sometimes my coworkers treat me like crap, and sometimes I have a huge hole in my shoe during a thunderstorm. My shoe sloshed with water with every step I took and my first thought was, shit this is really uncomfortable. Then I stopped for a second and decided, maybe I should appreciate this feeling. Every step I took, i made an effort to step into my squishy shoes and embrace the neet feeling of cold water. It was like wakling through snow, but not as cold. It was actually comforting haha. This is just an example of how I try to put my mind to enjoying things in general.
I read the book Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss, and he used an interesting simile that really stuck with me. How you percieve life is like watching a sports game. One team always wins, and one always loses, but the audience all have different reactions. Some may be upset because it’s their favorite team, or because they bet on them, and others may be ecstatic because they just made an easy 20 dollars. There’s no such thing as a bad event; it’s just the way you react to it. Maybe your team lost, but that doesn’t mean you can embrace the other teams victory and feel the same joy their fans do.
So I’d like a favor from my fellow HEthens: root for the winning team all the time. Embrace being happy instead of trying to change the world around you to fit your ideal life. I don’t really like hearing about how we all need to beat the system and blah blah blah, because honestly, I’m happy pushing around carts of groceries with a shoeful of rainwater. I want you to follow this simple advice, and find your bliss in whatever situation you’re in, and then share it. I’m sharing this with you, and I want you to share it with all your friends, everyone you care about, everyone who deserves to be happy with the way they’re living.
Take care, and stay happy.
People externalize their problems onto the world, that’s not to say that there aren’t problems going on in the world, just that these problems allow people to grab their negative emotions and blame those problems for them through some butterfly effect or whatever.
Interestingly enough, when you look at some of our greatest cultural icons that have strived to solve these problems, they’re never of the negative kind, despite facing the darkest of situations these are people who produce a surplus amount of good feelings.
You make good points, but they could be very slippery slopes. While you are correct in that we should always look for the positive in situations, you do not mention the visionary qualities of human beings as machines of creation and the need to broaden and build. You must never assume that your current standing is the best place you can be, you can convince yourself you are through positive thoughts and it might leave you there, some people get stuck in the monotony of life because they find comfort in their routine, but they never find out what would have happened if they had listened to the visionary within.
You maybe happy pushing around carts filled with groceries and that can happen due to the adaptability of the human brain, but one should always strive for accomplishment because human joy stems from accomplishment, seek joy not comfort.
Your words are enlightening and appreciated. Thanks.
I definitely always root for the wining team! (GO ISRAEL!)
There are no universal values that stem from the reality of the human condition, everything is just a matter of perspective, so apartheid is not bad, it just is.
@tazrick, I definitely agree with finding happiness in your current situation. I have to remind myself sometimes of this because I am in a job I dont really like now, but it gives me freedom to do other things I enjoy more.
At the same time I also agree with @doblearcoiris, because I think its important to always challenge yourself and better yourself. Maybe you are doing that in something else outside of your job, but you didnt mention it.
Overall great post and thanks for the reminder to love life no matter what the situation.
“Lvoe the life you live, and Live the life you love”
Peace. Love. Good Vibes.
@tazrick, I believe in being true to yourself, doing your best to exemplify the condition of your heart in your life. I also believe in trying to find the best balance between what is best for yourself and consideration for others. But consideration for others doesn’t have to be motivated altruistically, simply if you cause less friction between yourself and that of your environment (eg; others) then you have a lot more freedom and less resistance concerns to worry about.
So a simple pursuit of happiness needs to be complimented by creating the environment that permits you to embrace that pursuit.
@doblearcoiris, I completely agree with your point there. I’m not saying I’ll be bagging groceries forever haha, because I definitely do have my own ambitions with education and careers in the future. Didn’t really come to mind as I was typing it up, but that’s true. You can however find evidence of the exact opposite in religious ascetics for instance. To be homeless, relying on others for food/water, yet on the path of enlightenment. It all depends on the statement you’re trying to make or the path you choose to follow.
Buddha mentions how while sitting on a hill, he overhears a conversation between a musician and a spectator. The musician say, “If the strings are too tight, they will not play, and of the strings are too slack, they still will not play”. This is where it’s said he derived his concept of the Middle Way from, which I believe is a great philosophy to follow regardless of religion or affiliations. Like I said though, it’s all about ambition. Some people strive to become like the ascetics haha. To each his own.
You also make a point about not having to be altruistically motivated, but like I said above, it’s all about what exactly you want and how to achieve it. In most cases it definitely helps, as friction with others is pretty inevitable, especially in such a diverse society. I’m just saying that it works for me, and the joy of others on its own is enough to bring a smile to my face. Not to mention I’ve never heard of someone being a prick to everyone around him, and still being appreciated lol.
I love the responses, and thanks for all your input. A little insight always goes a long way :)
@tazrick, Yes, it’s pretty much stating the obvious that the less of a prick you are the more you are appreciated. And yes friction is inevitable, we all have needs we need to fulfill and even when they are completely warranted you risk rubbing people the wrong way, I’m thinking about excess though, I suppose when you take all the excess you can even to the injury of others, you can afford to buy the security to keep the mob at bay.