mom and son
out of the blue my mom IM's me, 'are you happy?'
i thought to myself, what a rotten question to ask someone first thing in the morning. if i was nursing a secret depression, barely keeping my mask from grenading on my face, then this question would pull the pin. if i was nominally happy, then the question would invariably make me think about why i was happy - which would violate some quantum event-observer state and collapse the whole happy phenom. but my mom's intentions are good-hearted and sincere, so i answered:
ty: happy is as happy does
mom: 'and Life is just a box of chocolates'
ty: yes- i am happy.
ty siscoe: why?
mom: was just hoping that you were.
ty: i dont think life is about being happy. that was boomer hippie ideology
and that was our little white-feather-joy luck club minute.
but what is life about? what are your choices? self-indulgent interior exploration? self-negating altruism? an untested submission in religion? a nietzschean will to power? each choice here has its noble, brilliant side. equally, they all have a seedy, trog, dark side of the moon.
artists never truly love another, a parent's life is surrendered to the autocracy of the child, blind sheep are eventually sheared and slaughtered, Nietzsche's Superman was nothing more than a morphine-fueled intellectual tantrum.
so how am i happy? in this 15 billion-year old incomprehensibly chaotic and complex universe, i have carved out a niche where there are people in my life that i love and who love me. this is no trite feat and should never be taken for granted or for advantage.
and consider this: the fact you are reading this right now means you have a computer and an internet connection which implies that you possess an education and a reasonable curiousity; that you benefit from living in a modern technological society, you enjoy statistically decent health, and have enough free time and material substance to seek entertainment or knowledge. in short, the fact that you are here right this minute means that you are living a quantitatively better existence than 98% of all humans that have ever lived. quantitatively - not qualitatively. the quality is up to you. that's your burden and gift.
are you happy? count to ten and see if that question blows up in your face.