I was in an extended conversation where we were discussing happiness and how to get it and maintain it. I was attentive throughout the discussion but didn’t participate because happiness seemed like such a desirable goal and my views were very different. Happiness is certainly more desirable than unhappiness most of the time and I didn’t want to be critical of emotions that people feel are desirable. Also, as my present goal is to help people develop more mature lifestyles, it would be counterproductive to begin presenting disturbing ideas. I want to be nicer to people than they are to me and to one another and to bring up my point of view would be perceived as hostile.
My desire is to live a complete life and that includes experiencing the various things that people can endure. Perhaps that is overstating a bit because I do want to avoid the nasty bits, and do seek to avoid automobile accidents and their unpleasant results. As obvious as physical accident avoidance seems to me I do know people who like to live on the edge of an accident because, they claim, it makes them feel more alive. Of course to live on the edge means falling over occasionally and being injured, even killed. I’m willing to take some risks but only if they can be recovered from and if there is a much greater payoff than the worst injury likely. I have a friend who feels wrongly imprisoned, because of a failure to pay a monetary debt, and therefore has refused to eat prison food for two weeks. I have another friend who rides motorcycles in what sounds like very dangerous ways. And others who say they take dangerous street drugs.
People claim they get a happy feeling by doing these things and they consider me weak for pursuing my bland goals of helping humanity live better. That was the stated goal in the title of this blog since the first day: Probaway – Life Hacks ~ Many helpful hints on living your life more successfully, and at present I have written 3,424 posts with that as the intent. Obviously, I don’t have that many thoughts and there must be some repetitiveness in those posts, but there has been a growth in the ways of seeking a better life. The intent isn’t to force anyone to do anything they don’t see as being to their benefit, but to pull back a veil that they could have easily pulled back themselves. To see what is easily seen by anyone who chooses to look.
“Treat others better than you treat yourself” is the idea I am presently pursuing because to the degree that people can do that they can cultivate the habits of growing in maturity. That is a benefit to themselves as well as to others. When I am more comfortable with that idea and have some memorable examples I will present it to these people who consider happiness as the highest good, perhaps second only to pleasure. For the moment my bon mot is:
“Treat others better than I treat myself.”