The hideous truth of our lives comes down to happiness. Seeking the meaning to life might as well be larger than the pursuit of happiness.
George Washington famously speaks of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps, there’s a symbolic idea behind the inclusion of ‘pursuit’ before ‘happiness’. The idea is that the happiness is nothing but a state of mind. Besides, happiness is the journey, but not a destination, it signifies. Is that all there is to life?
The Pursuit of Happiness and the Meaning
Rev. John F. Hudson writes about happiness in Wicked Local and weighs in on the factors that affect happiness. He cites the example of a Panini press he received from his niece who is off to graduate school. The idea is to perceive the gift not from the materialistic point of view, but from the statement it makes, he says.
The press will certainly come handy to fix a sandwich, but that’s not the point. The author recollects the memories of his niece’s childhood and it brings him immense joy. The meaning of the gift is what Rev. John F. Hudson cherishes the most. The gift represents something far beyond the materialistic virtues or the happiness it brings, of course.
The author questions where we usually look for happiness. Case in point, most are looking for it in all the wrong places too. Career, riches, appearance and even self-help books for that matter! Instead, it’s best to seek the meaning to one’s existence. The pursuit of happiness reduces to merely an illusion once the meaning to life becomes apparent.
— Ryan Robinson (@TheRyanRobinson) January 1, 2017
The meaning in question here is the righteousness one can exhibit in their lifetime. Being part of a charitable cause, trying to break the agents of hate and animosity or perhaps uphold the virtues too. There’s so much one can do to make this world a better place and leave it better than they found it.
Seeking individual deliverance is no crime, mind you, but the meaning lies in standing for a cause. Perhaps, it’s better to go in pursuit of a meaning than happiness, for what it worths. The meaning might last a lifetime even. Might echo in eternity too. Sometimes, more!