Daily prompt: Another trip to la-la land


I have to admit that I’ve always regarded ‘the pursuit of happiness’ as one of those la-la things that don’t have much to do with real life.

Perhaps this is because I was born right in the middle of WW ll when ‘happiness’ wasn’t the first word on everyone’s lips, and my younger years had more to do with planning, rebuilding and rehabilitating than with an all-out drive to chase bluebirds.

But even in my early twenties, when happiness became a ‘right’ for baby boomers, I wasn’t convinced. Life had taught me a few things by then, and not one of them suggested that happiness was a finite goal. And while smoking pot might create an illusion of happiness (wouldn’t know, never tried it), it wasn’t a long-term guarantee of a rosy future and red Porsches didn’t fall from the sky while you sat on your butt and thought ‘which way happiness?’.

If you’re in some reasonable facsimile of your right mind, you don’t flit about the garden chasing fairies, and to me, pursuing happiness is pretty similar. It is a nebulous, ephemeral thing with no rules regarding time and place and no instantly recognisable shape or form, and if you assign it these things, it’s quite likely to pass you by without you recognising it.

Contentment, now… And serenity. Yes, if you’re lucky and work hard both mentally and physically, you can ultimately organise yourself a peaceful, contented life. But those rare moments when your whole soul shines with active happiness… You don’t find them. They find you.


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10 Responses to Daily prompt: Another trip to la-la land

  1. Anisha says:

    Brilliant end!

  2. Embeecee says:

    Interesting perspective. It’s weird how our environment may influence our opinion…I was born at the tail end of the ‘boom’ and was therefore brought up with perhaps more a sense of entitlement to happiness than you were. I know I always felt secure certainly, and naively assumed happiness was built in. And I’ve always found the pursuit is the fun part, not the achievement. Because if you have it, oftentimes you don’t want it any more.

  3. I think in expressing the idea of the “right to pursue happiness” Jefferson meant that people should have the right to follow their own interests rather than being told what to do by an outside authority (master, mistress) or a permanent status in life (serf). It was just one more log on the fire of revolution, one of man’s unalienable rights. The right to pursue happiness is not the same as having a right to be happy. It makes a lot more sense to me than having the right to “pursue misery” or “the right to be happy where he is and never complain no matter what.”

  4. Aunt Beulah says:

    I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with the idea of happy. I hate it when someone says to me, “Is something wrong? You seem unhappy,” when actually I’m having a might fine day working hard and minding my own business.

  5. Yes. Contentment has always seemed to me a far more sustainable goal!

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