Think About It

The Pursuit of Happiness is Overrated — Tori Gomez

Yes, you saw that right. I think the idea of “achieving happiness” is ridiculous, unattainable, and overrated. What I mean by this is that the concept of being happy in our society is perceived as a final end goal, a symbol of success, an overarching permanent state of mind that somehow proves you’ve done well with your life. However, humans are far more complex than this simplistic perspective insinuates.

With much of our society struggling with mental health issues or just daily life stressors, combined with the overwhelming pressures of societal norms and capitalism, the concept of “true” happiness seems like an incredibly distant end goal. However, this point of view paints joy as if it were only deserved at the “end” or “peak” of life as if we are somehow failing if we are not happy nearly 100% of the time. Happiness is an emotion and should be viewed as such. As all emotions do, they come and go; they are fluid, they constantly change throughout a year, month, week, day, and even hour. It would be unreasonable to presume that you will reach a point in your life where you are always happy, almost always feeling just one emotion.

Aside from that, the pursuit of happiness created by our society implies that being “unhappy” and being “not happy” is the same. However, they’re not. Or rather, they don’t have to be. Unhappy is negatively connotated, associated with distress. Being “not happy” isn’t necessarily bad. People should place more of an emphasis on contentment, neutrality, even mild apathy. Neutrality provides us with the freedom to feel our own experiences and provide meaning however we wish to, thus giving us the added potential of happiness. A life pursuing any one particular thing will most likely result in dissatisfaction since assuming that you need to reach a pinnacle point in your life to make it valuable will likely eventually lead to disappointment. We are fluid creatures, and our goals, satisfactions, and joys will constantly be changing. We should exist to live each day, content with the default of neutrality instead of postponing our own lives for an ultimately unattainable goal.

 

Being Kind is Attractive — Diego Caceres

My friends lift me up, not tear me down. They let me speak, not cut me off. They love me, and their actions speak louder than any word in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. When I’m around these people, I feel good about myself. I’m attracted to them. In my opinion, being kind is attractive.

Personally, I’m drawn to people who do kind acts. My friends, for instance, share their food or help me with homework. I like getting free food (who doesn’t?) and appreciate when a patient friend helps me with a math problem. I’m not their friend because I use them, but because they make me want to be a better person.

Being kind is not only attractive, but fulfilling. Everyday is an opportunity to be kind, but my fear of socializing often prevents me from doing so. When I think too long about doing something nice, I sit anxiously, trying furiously to budge the boulders I call legs. My creeping thoughts dissolve every ounce of bravery left in my vault. Finally, after mustering up a dust particle of courage and doing something nice for someone, the act is fulfilling.

It broadens my worldview, removing me from the center of it. I can become so arrogant and self-centered, believing my problems are the only problems. But after serving others, the reward comes, not from getting anything in return, but by realizing the world is bigger than me.

No act of goodness is wasted, so there’s always a reason to be kind.