Often in the current American culture, we are on a set pursuit of happiness — always looking to find happiness like it’s a lost dog or something. We’re searching so hard that we don’t realize happiness is not an object that will suddenly drop into our lap one day. It is something we decide all day, every day.
I believe one reason why we are on the constant pursuit of happiness instead of making a conscious choice to be happy everyday is due to our cultural obsession with convenience. The Internet, fast food, cell phones and especially a general lack of patience are some examples of how Americans are obsessed with convenience. The world moves fast and so should we. Convenience means now and that goes for happiness too. We want everyone and everything to be as convenient as possible so we can experience instant gratification — which, ultimately, we mistake for happiness. When there is no instantaneous gratification then we believe ourselves to be unhappy. Happiness may not be decided in one second flat but it should last longer than our espionage toward instant gratification. The feeling of immediate gratification represents just one moment on the path to true sustainable happiness.
Waiting for things to happen is nonsense. It is from within that one decides over and over again how to grow a settled feeling of happiness and create a perspective capable of sustaining it.
Michaela Allen | College for Creative Studies