I've been thinking a lot about about happiness lately or maybe more accurately, the lack of happiness. Something happened last night that really made me think about it.
I was on Facebook and I was getting ready to play a game on there, the "bouncing ball" game. While you're waiting for the game to load, a commercial will play. Usually it's some stupid Geico ad but this time it was for Chips Ahoy, you know, the cookies. The commercial takes place in a beautiful kitchen, it's one of those perfect bright, sunny summer California days you always see on TV or the movies. There are maybe three or four kids in this kitchen, aged around 8-12, not real small little kids but not teenagers either. They are all laughing and stamping their feet, waiting for cookies. The Mom reaches up into a cabinet and pulls out that famous blue package and soon everyone is eating chocolate chip cookies and laughing even harder. Life is wonderful.
Well, this commercial really depressed the hell out of me. I think I've isolated three reasons why it made me feel that way. First, there was a basic kind of jealously... I wish I could be young again and the only worries I had in life were how many cookies I could score.
Second...life, for the most part, just isn't like that. Sometimes there are moments that are simple and full of joy but those are pretty rare and you'd have to be a pretty shallow person to not have a few dark shadows on the edges of happy times. Maybe that's just me though. Maybe I'm just not used to totally giving in to happiness.
Finally, on a third and I guess you could call this the Meta level, it depressed me because it REALLY wasn't real-it's just a damned cookie commercial filled with some ad exec's ideas of what makes people happy. It kind of made me feel uneasy the way amusement parks do. It's a forced, artificial representation of something that's not even real. Or, at least, a frame of mind that we only have when we are very young.
So it just seems to me that a lot of what we call happiness in the modern age is fake. I hope I don't come off as some joyless person who doesn't believe in true happiness. I do. It just seems like life makes real happiness hard to achieve and tries to foist a lot of phoniness onto us. I want the real thing!
Sorry this first post was a bit on the gloomy side. I promise to lighten things up in my next post! I think I will discuss characters that I have created and live only in my head-so far!