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tangerines's picture

We don't choose happiness, but...

I don't think happiness is a destination; it's a journey. For this reason I think it's impossible to "choose" happiness, because it's not that simple. What you can choose is a more positive outlook or perspective on life, which is more conducive to a happy life by default. I'm familiar with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and I think it's important to remember that it's okay to feel unhappy at times, there is definitely proof that we are often able to find happiness in our lives simply by looking for it.

Reading Generosity has been interesting. My mother has her Masters in Counseling, and we have had a number of discussions about how people's expectations shape their feelings of contentment and satisfaction with life. For example, with the advent of "happy pills" and the significant increase in the prescription of these pills (often, sadly, for people who don't need ongoing chemical therapy) there is an expectation that everyone should be happy all the time, and if you're not, there must be something wrong with you. When you have an unrealistic expectation about how happy you should be, life is never satisfactory. Generosity, however, challenges (or perhaps intentionally critiques?) this expectation - Stone never expects happiness in his own life, and thinks Thassa must be insane for being happy.

In answer to your question, ckosarek, I think that we don't choose to be happy. I think we can choose a different perspective that allows us to find happiness & dismiss negativity more easily - and that is all the agency we need.



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