The Pursuit of Happiness

As I scroll through my facebook-newsfeed this morning, a terrible feeling overcomes me. I scroll through posts and posts of sadness, suffering and sacrifice and I cannot help but wonder, what is wrong with us? Is this what we choose to do with what we have? Are we that self-involved that  we feel the need to suffocate any feeling of empathy or remorse towards other human beings and living creatures?

Let me back up here a little, I will tell you exactly what I saw in my facebook feed today: the Charleston shooting, Yulin dog eating festival, Clementine Ford, dolphins being slaughtered for shark-bait, and these are only the first 10 posts of my feed. Of course, I probably should just unsubscribe to all the horribleness of the social media world if I cannot handle it, but I believe that the first step towards something better is acknowledging the wrong-doing and raising awareness on the issues with which we are faced.

Dislike button by: www.newseveryday.com

Dislike button by: http://www.newseveryday.com

History has vividly shown us one thing: our mistakes. It baffles me, how we treat our mistakes with such kindness, like a child that has spilled milk all over the breakfast table. We take a cloth and wipe it away as if nothing ever happened, all the while with a smile on our faces. The rag ends up in the laundry, and two days later all of the spilling is forgotten and forgiven.

circa 1960:  An American housewife demonstrates the cleaning power of 'Vel' detergent for a TV advert.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1960: An American housewife demonstrates the cleaning power of ‘Vel’ detergent for a TV advert. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Every morning we wake up our children; we teach our children. We teach them A is good and F is bad, degrading our own children to letters. Instead of showing our children the power of education, showing them what they can achieve with education, to which greater good they can use their minds, invent new ways of how we live our lives, we hand them iPads and mobile phones. This is all you will need, ever! Instead of letting our creativity flourish, we barricade ourselves in tanks, wiping everything away that doesn’t fit into our worldview, not open to new suggestions, new ideas, new ways of looking at things.

Da Vinci's Armoured Car, picture by: www.leonardodavinci.net

Da Vinci’s Armoured Car, picture by: http://www.leonardodavinci.net

We religiously follow calculated business models as if they have all the answers, blocking out what ever humanity is left in us. And then we wonder why things have gone horribly wrong. Not just the things that we believe are out of our hands, like the environment, gender inequalities and a million other things, that are “too big for one person to tackle”, but also the things that we could master like recycling, treating our children and neighbor’s children equal, raising them with the best intentions. But the best intentions sometimes result in horrible outcomes.

Free Willy TV Series

Free Willy TV Series

I believe that human-beings generally speaking strive to achieve greatness. We want to do better, we want to maximize our potential, we want to go where no human has gone before, all the while trying to vigorously hide our past. But is this the right way to go? Will we all be able to pursue happiness if we continue down this path? You tell me.

Fork in the Road, seen on reddit.com

Fork in the Road, seen on reddit.com

And just as John Hammond in Jurassic Park said more than two decades ago, millions of us say the same thing, over and over again, every single day, “Don’t worry, I am not making the same mistakes again”. To this, one can only reply in a proper and brilliant Jeff Goldblum manner:

Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park, (Jeff Goldblum), picture by: memegenerator.net

Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), picture by: memegenerator.net

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