August 12th, 2006


The Trouble With Happiness

:: The Trouble With Happiness ::

In the modified ending to Brazil, directed by the talented Terry Gilliam
The protagonist Sam and his love Jill escape from
The Ministry of Information to lead a life of bliss in the countryside.
In the original edition, the movie continues a little further.
The idyllic scene is abruptly revealed to be nothing more than
Sam's hallucination.
Sam sits, locked in the dentist's chair, a victim of a lobotomy
At the hands of the Ministry of Information, and
All that was blissful was in fact, nothing more
Than a "flight into fantasy within his shattered mind."

This 'double-ending' concept left a deep impression on me
Ever since I watched Brazil about a decade ago.
My mind revisited this while I was making a comment.
On drycleanonly's entry about happiness.

The problem with happiness is that it is probably
Impossible to objectively define happiness as we know or understand it.
Everyone has their own concept of happiness, and
It is almost as pointless as trying to define the colour green such that
A completely colour blind person could understand
The experience of seeing green.
Hence, could a mentally-challenged person be happier than anyone of us?
That was my point to the generally-accepted notion that $ is the key to happiness.
Money is without doubt essential, and hey I want more $ too.
$ fulfills the material aspect, the most basic aspect of needs.
But do we really how we want to be happy, especially in this age of consumerism?

Recent research conduct by Daniel Gilbert and others has
Unearthed several new elements about the business of happiness w.r.t humans.
The first element being that the major events of our lives have minimal effect
On our overall long-term happiness.
Did you get married this year, or not?
Have you been involved in a war lately or a victim of crime?
Regardless as to your answer, it is a fair bet your happiness
Will be more of less the same in the long term.
The latter could be understood if you accept that the brain has a mechanism of sorts
To reset people back to their baseline happiness over time.

The second element of happiness is the terrible truth that
We are awful at predicting what will give us happiness.
Do you expect that a new car or home will give you happiness?
Certainly it will, just not as much as you expect.
The same is truth is the opposite.
Do you think that getting rejected by your crush or losing a game
Will make your unhappy?
It will, just not as much as you expect.

Ahh.... expectations.

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Wiki Notes - To File Up

:: Interesting Wikipedia Search Patterns on a Saturday Afternoon ::

Brazil - Uchronia - Terry Gilliam - The Fisher King - Brothers Grimm - Tideland - Leukotomy - Walter Freeman - Ice Pick - Rosemary Kennedy - The Kennedy Curse - Coincidence Theory - Conspiracy Theory - Black Propaganda - Happiness.


A check on recent search history yields:

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