Thoughts on Happiness

We could come up with hundreds of motivational quotes on happiness, talk and rationalize about them our entire lifetime but one thing is sure – each of us would have already dealt with the pursuit of happiness on our individual , unique ways from the moment we knew we existed. There are times when we would be in a state of quandary, not fully understanding what happiness really means, more so when abrupt, life changing events punctuate our journey. As we move on in life, happiness increasingly behaves like a variable not a constant. Often times it is gives us the illusion of being perpetually elusive and unreachable, much like a Shangri-la. Happiness is like a chameleon that perhaps we can’t precisely define what it really is but we can certainly experience what we may call our personal versions of it.

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” …Aristotle

This sounds so amazingly simplistic and it does pack a big punch. Do I have the right to my own individual happiness ? No ifs and buts about it – you bet I do, much like everyone else. How about people who curtail if not abandon their own personal pursuits and aspirations for the sake of others, loved ones most especially, so that they could be happy ? Have they missed the real purpose and meaning of life ? An example would be the dude who works overseas in a western country, perhaps even illegally, lives in a cramped rented bedroom and thrives on cheap canned food so he could send all his earnings back to Pinas so his wife and kids could buy a new car and take tours to Hongkong and Singapore. I bet you many would say – it’s noble, commendable, inspiring, etc.. The dude is doing a noble thing indeed. But if his family has any clue of what gratitude means and really care about their father, they should rid of the selfishness, make good use of the stipend received to improve their lives, finish school, get jobs and extricate themselves from the dependency bind expediently so that Dad could take a break and enjoy life himself. If happiness is indeed “the meaning and the purpose of life and the whole aim and end of human existence”, Dad shouldn’t be the sacrificial lamb. If his family truly cares about him, he shouldn’t be the oxen pulling the yoke his entire lifetime carrying everyone in the family until his last breath.
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About 3 years ago I attended a security luncheon seminar at a press club hosted by a national telecom carrier and moderated by popular CBC broadcast journalist Wendy Mesley. I bet people went, yours truly included, to see Wendy in person ; after all, she is a topnotch TV anchor with a vibrant, engaging and pleasing personality (my all time favorite anchorbabe is Erica Hill, formerly of CNN and now with CBS, who is still stunning after making it to the People Magazine’s 100 most beautiful people list in 2006 [#35]). Wendy was definitely a show on her own but the seminar wasn’t bad at all. Former hackers turned G-men and RCMP crime busters were on the podium sharing their experiences , both from the conman and G-man side of the fence , likewise taking questions from the audience . At one point everyone froze momentarily, instinctively groped for their back pockets and wallets when the security experts hurled an unexpected question to the crowd “ have you ever tried googling your VISA or Mastercard account number ? If it shows up it is likely compromised as hackers may have sold your card number to scammers over the internet . Credit card numbers are sold from anywhere 10 cents to a dollar per number by cyberthieves. “ Everyone was silent, perturbed by the thought that their credit cards may have been compromised. In that brief moment of anxiety, Wendy Mesley turned from Snow White to evil Cruella de Vil for being a bearer of potential bad news 😦 We left sensitized with the importance of awareness and vigilance but at the same time apprehensive with the thought that danger lurks in cyberspace and that as implementors and users of technology we must be one step ahead of the underworld elements when it comes to protecting valuable information.
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