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Life Arts    H2'ed 2/17/09

The "Pursuit" of Happiness?

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I like Dr. Sklare. Dr Sklare is a psychologist and life coach who posts "Daily Inspirations" on Lifescripts.com. I like to read his posts every once in a while the way I like to watch "I Love Lucy" reruns when I need to escape to a simpler time, a simpler place--another reality.

Today I read his post, "The Pursuit of Happiness" where the nice doctor (really, he is so nice--and he plays guitar too) is inspired by the following sentence from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." In his post, Dr Sklare writes about the word "pursuit." He says the word indicates an "active, dedicated and mindful search." He asks us to ask ourselves, "What do you actively do each day that contributes to the pursuit of happiness in your life? Are you mindful and purposeful as you pursue happiness, or do you rarely give it a second thought?"

That sounds like a really nice suggestion. But what I would like to ask is, "WHEN ARE WE GOING TO WAKE UP AND WONDER WHAT THE *&#@! ARE WE DOING SO WRONG THAT MAKES US NEED TO PURSUE HAPPINESS IN THE FIRST PLACE?"

Addicts are not born into an easy world--no one is. Yes, addicts stand out. But what about the rest of society, the people who don't stand out? I see an awful lot of unhappy people who aren't addicted to drugs or alcohol. Isn't that what we should be asking about? Shouldn't we be wondering why there are so many people who are depressed--not just addicts.

Einstein once said, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." It seems to me that if "We the People" could raise our level of consciousness we would see what is responsible for unhappiness. We would not frantically "pursue happiness" much the way an addict "pursues" their drug. We would begin the difficult but magnificently gratifying steps of creating a healthier world so that happiness is a natural result, not one we must individually pursue.

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I am an artist living in Los Angeles, CA.

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