Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

It's a Thoreau Down Day Thing

Dear America,


"When I was 5 years old, 
my mother always told me 
that happiness was the key to life.  
When I went to school, 
they asked me what I wanted
 to be when I grew up.  
I wrote down "happy."  
They told me I didn't
 understand the assignment,
 and I told them, 
they didn't understand life."  
John Lennon
#262, from "Nothing is worth more than this day." book

indeed

now, it's not like we can run around being happy all the time, but the general sensation of happiness, satisfaction, contentment...in life... is definitely a fine aspiration, and one to hold close to our hearts and minds.

Granted, this thing called happiness seemed so essential in the early days of our founding, that it was mentioned within our 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 proper context -- as it's declared, HAPPINESS, in and of itself, is NOT one of our "unalienable Rights;"  it's the PURSUIT of this thing called happiness, that is distinguished -- and even more than that, a prerequisite of action is in place, to chase this somewhat elusive quality of happiness and its full, individual, embodiment.

And really, what an enigma, right?   One person's idea of happiness can be quite different from another's...

[imagine a long pause between]

oh, pardon me...
I was just in the midst of getting lost on the BrainyQuote website, trying to hunt down the famous Henry David Thoreau quote about happiness...you know the one, "happiness is like a butterfly...yadi yadi yada...if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

Turns out, Thoreau may not be its author after all -- not that google portends to make that truth known.  Gotta love the fact checking.

It's a perfect example of how something takes hold, and becomes something real, even when its not even close.   Just plug in "happiness is like a butterfly" and see what happens.

The Quote Investigator website made a thorough search for proof, it would seem, aiming to get to the bottom of it.  Kudos to QI.  

The closest reference to something close to this butterfly/happiness relationship seems to have come in around 1848....and it was in a column defining a few precious things, things like love and wealth and happiness. 

AND wouldn't you know it -- the definition of wealth jumped out at me as if it came with fireworks and a sky of splendor; and I'm quoting now:  WEALTH.—The sum which gives content, whether one dollar or a million.

i just love that.

any thoughts, Thoreau, like really, any of your thoughts on this?

That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.

There is no value in life 
except what you choose to place upon it 
and no happiness in any place 
except what you bring to it yourself.

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

mind blown again and again and again.

These are the kinds of things that should be ingrained upon every American, to its fullest extent, in mind and body.  These are the kinds of things, ideas, that can change lives, for real.

Instead, Americans are being fed all kinds of untruths and false promises and wayward appeals in the latest wave of contenders meeting up with the 2020 presidential election.

Whether it is upon the woes of climate change, medicare-for-all, or illegal immigration -- the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it, whether we are talking one to 300 million.

all I want to do today is sit and listen to HDT hit me with his best stuff.

but alas, that isn't going to happen. 

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
 ...thank you, HDT, and it would seem that I have a busy one going at the moment.

so now, given that I spent way too much time tootling around brainy quotes. I need to make my way into the rest of my day of responsibilities...you know, because.... "not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something." (also Thoreau)

Make it a Good Day, G