Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

With this new semester, a change of courses has been ushered in, and I am slowly embracing this whirlwind. Amongst these classes is Writer's Craft. Being an aspiring writer, this seemed like a course written with me in mind. In the first few weeks, we have worked on the rudimentary aspects surrounding writing. As a part of this process, we have read many articles and one that has been on my mind was one about embracing the plateaus that life brings.
Often, we spend the majority of our time setting goals, going through actions to get to another level. The whole routine is an example that what we have is never enough. The new car, the wardrobe, the hairstyle... Every month, fashion magazines have a new trend, basically rewriting the fashion laws and making what was said last month null and void. It's a perpetual state of false needs, which is the basis of consumerism. In this aspect, I agree that at certain times, it is okay to stop and smell the flowers. Instead of chasing the fads in a circle, taking a breather and staying level can be a good option.
However, at the same time, I feel myself that without a goal or something to strive towards, I am idle like a bump on a log. Not to reach to equates to no results. When we pass by the homeless, its easy to write them off as "lazy" or "not trying", instead of looking at the situation with a holistic view. You find that the people that succeed are those with lofty goals and ideals in mind. Possibly, the reason why these people flourish is the drive they have, not the goal.
So the saying remains written in stone, "stopping and smell the roses". But how practical is this in our fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world. If you rest for one second to stick your honker in a flower, someone else is waiting to leapfrog over you. Especially in these difficult economic times, jobs are limited and employment is a commodity. One needs a job to survive in all honesty. In some rights, we do need to set goals and be ambitious, as to keep up with the Joneses, it is a vital part of life. But at the same time, we also need to be able to weed out what is important. Not always it is necessary to have the latest and greatest. It's personal choice, but I believe we will see a vast alteration in what we hold as important in our lives, particularly in the next five years.

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