Post Published on July 29, 2014.
Last Updated on April 29, 2016 by davemackey.
A Little Fun…
Today I watched (HT: Mashable) a beautiful, fun video by some of our elder generation performing a rendition of Pharrell Williams’ recently famous song ‘Happy.’ I’ve embedded it below.
After you’ve watched it (or before) check out the original music video, embedded below.
Some More Serious Thoughts
[Feel free to skip this if you just wanted to smile. =)]
This makes me think of three ways of living, ways we are all likely to favor at one juncture or another in our lifetimes:
- Denial – Things are bad but we are unwilling to admit it.
- Reality – Things are bad and we are willing to admit it.
- Choice – Things are bad, we admit it, but we are choosing to experience it differently.
I think this cycle of choices can be seen in individual’s lives as well as in society as a system and over time. It doesn’t matter when one jumps on the merry-go-round, you are still on the merry-go-round and will go past the place you did not start with at some juncture or another.
So, we deny bad things are happening until they become so bad that we can’t bear them any more…then we break and sometimes this break results in a choosing to be real. Being real is highly valued…and I value very highly being real.
That said, depending on our circumstances, real is a place we may remain for a very long time – and over time the expression of real can become pessimism, hopelessness, anger, fear, and so on.
So then we have a third way of living that acknowledges what is real yet chooses to make the best of a bad situation.
I’ve worked for years with teenagers1It feels awkward saying this, I feel so young and inexperienced…but I’m not. As of the end of August it will be eleven years non-stop. and each generation I have worked with has heard me repeat on more than one occasion that it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we are together and choose to have fun.
What I mean is, it is primarily (I would not say only) our attitude that determines our experience. I can have a great time cleaning – if others enter into the experience with me and we all have a positive, upbeat attitude.
But I don’t think as a society or as individuals we stay there – rather we loop back into denial. Why? Because once we have chosen to be happy we feel that we must be happy and when we aren’t happy we don’t want others to know that we have “failed” at being happy and now are back at the “lowest point of our emotional maturity” – and so we go into denial.
So which is the best phase? I’d say that each phase has its place. Denial is useful in situations of overwhelming suffering and it is oftentimes utilized when we first experience trauma as well as when the trauma is sustained over a long time.
Reality is useful when we are no longer in the overwhelming suffering and need to move out of denial.
Choice is the preferred state of being (that is, we prefer it, I’m not saying it is inherently superior) which allows us to recognize the effects of reality upon us without being broken by reality.