I would have to say that I am happy at first glance. Most people would probably say that I'm a happy person. I've always been a part of the
popular crowd but I firmly have felt like an outsider for my entire life. I always seem to have felt and experienced things differently than most of
my friends and associates.
I have a definite feeling of being trapped in my current life and I would like to be doing things differently than my situation allows. I have
everything that I 'need' and many things that I simply wanted but I have very little regard for material posessions. Unlike many of my friends, I
don't place a high value on objects. I mean I can truly say that if a friend borrowed my car and totalled it I really wouldn't be all that upset
and would never insist that he pay for it. Weird huh?
Anyway, I really do try to live the best life that I can and I try to help others in any way that I can. I think this old quote is quite true!!
A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others. ...
I’m only 17 nearly 18 and i’d say i’ve had a good life compared to most of the people in the world.
While I'm glad that you've enjoyed your life so far, understand that you haven't even begun to live life yet. A little over a hundred years ago,
you'd be middle aged. In colonial times, you'd only have another six years of life before meeting the average life expectancy. Today, you're just
starting life's journey. The fastest growing demographic in the world are the centurions... people who live to celebrate their centennial birthday.
"And all I can tell you is, stay healthy for 20 years. If you can stay healthy for 20 years, you'll see 150, maybe 300." ~ Barry Schuler;
... and if we can see 300, then all bets are off. People hear there and they often immediately look to those closest to them who are elderly and
extrapolate the problems and maintenance of being profoundly elderly for the majority of their life... but what they fail to see is the effort and
implications of regenerative medicine to not only halt the aging process, but to reverse it.
I don't think the world is going "tits up", as you put it. However, we are heading into a very uncertain time where discovery, dissemination, and
decentralization is accelerating change at a pace so quickly that we may not be able to culturally adapt. You could say that there's been two major
social revolutions in human history that have changed the world so profoundly that nothing predicted before could begin to predict the course of human
history that would unfold. The agricultural revolution, and the industrial revolution. And we are just now coming into the age of the information
revolution wherein previous paradigms of land mass, resource control, and labor management are simply inapplicable. Old "common knowledge"
assumptions about society and human interaction are being shown false, though they still persist in people's minds... like echos in a chamber which
highlight the speed at which fundamental shifts in society have occured.
For instance, according to Philip Rosedale of Linden Labs (the makers of Second Life), it used to be assumed that technology was separating people
from connecting with one another... from forming healthy human bonds. That people naturally had a tendency to have .01% of the population create the
content for the rest of the culture. Second Life has changed the parameters a bit, as the entire world is basically one giant Lego kit built by the
users. As it turns out, when you remove the barriers to content generation by allowing creative energy to be converted directly into productivity -
the average percentage of content generation has been more or less steady at about 40% of the population being responsible for content generation.
Further, social networking (which second life is an extension of) has come to dominate internet commerce and traffic. People are reaching out,
meeting, interacting, connecting, collaborating, and broadening their experiences like never before.
User generated content and information generation is starting to change the rules of society... starting to upset the old order, and assumptions made
on that old order are simply not applicable. It's hard to compete and generate technology and profitability from users when the "boot is smashing
their face for eternity". Despite the appearance of social decay and barbarism we perceive as being on the rise, we are likely living in the most
peaceful and prosperous period in human history. That things appear to be getting worse is merely an artifact of the new system of information
generation and distribution; that while the rate of preventable tragedy and injustice is decreasing - it's being far outstripped by our ability to
report and discuss it. Political protesters get rightly incensed when a protester gets their nose bloodied by an out-of-line officer in a tense and
antagonistic atmosphere... yet forget that it wasn't that long ago in human history when executions for speaking out against the government were
Now, like everyone, I have regrets and dreams that I will likely never fulfill, but I think the greatest source of distress and depression in my life
is... well... coming to ATS, honestly. I've always had an affinity for the profound, and there's not a day that goes by without learning something
about our universe or hear a talk that doesn't leave me profoundly moved and inspired... and hopeful. We are privileged to live in the most exciting
period of human history, and an exciting time of turbulent change that... if we're not careful... could turn out very, very badly for us. In many
ways, it reminds me of Alexandria in the days of Hypatia & Cyril. Which path will we choose this time?
No matter how the future unfolds, I can at least be content that I have been given the privileged to live in such times when I can be exposed to the
wonder of the natural universe, to begin to understand it, and recognize the significance of what it means to recognize my own insignificance. What
greater gift could one ask for, than self-recognition on such a deep and profound level?
This is where my discomfort with ATS comes from... because so many here do not appear to recognize the profound that is right in front of their eyes,
opting instead to chase self-gratifying delusions which (even were they right, and it was true) are shallow and pedantic by comparison. Shortsighted
sensationalist fear-mongering, misdirection, and ignorant anger fuel so many of the posts of the very people who most loudly lambast the media and
"TPTB" for the very same thing.
Jefferson once wrote, "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without
rudder, is the sport of every wind." And it gets distressing at times to see so many gleefully ripping the rudders from their frame and bellowing
moralistic platitudes as they encourage others to follow suit.
I've often heard here that one of the draws of ATS is the "tumble down the rabbit hole". The perceptual shift when one sees the world around them
in a new light, or from a new angle. "Star Farming" threads which show the wonders and scale of the cosmos seem to be the most powerful for many
people... but, I have to wonder... why don't we ever see threads about microbiology which inspire the same awe and reverence? Why does nobody seem to
care about the profound perceptional shift that occurs when you see the world on the microbial level? Are the implications it invokes simply not being
recognized? Is it because it can't be conceptualized easily with pictures and a soundbyte, or because it's harder to shoehorn cynicism about
humanity in? Can someone please explain how they find the implications of microbiology to be blasé?
I mean... because to me, this stuff is fascinating... that "I" am not merely "I", but "Us" - a collective and unique ecosystem of all three
major branches of life (bacteria, archaea, eukarya) which I not only depend upon for my health and very existence... but from which the human
components in that ecosystem of "me" are by far the minority. It's just that our eurkaryotic cells are bigger than the others... so only 1% of the
organisms which collectively constitute who I am create the form we see and associate as human.
It's just... disheartening, at times, to see all that ignored in the righteous promotion of the return to...
I have found that thinking about people that are worse off than me does not make me happy. It does make you appreciate things more and be grateful for
what you do have to an extent. But there really is no happiness when you take comfort in the fact that there are many far worse off than
I think many people equate happiness with money and popularity. I believe it's more to do with your mental health and general mood. There are plenty
of people that are very poor but they live very fulfilling lives. They get along well with others and have loving families. They have hobbies that
bring them joy and fulfilment.
Am I happy? No. Can I be happy? Probably, when I am ready to make that change within.
On the one hand, I'm glad for every day that I wake up. I still marvel at the sunrise and sunset, the night sky, love the woman I'm with, my
stepdaughter and step-granddaughter.
On the other hand, it's been a bad run recently. I haven't worked for awhile and we're living off my wife's disability.
Since December, my mother was placed in a nursing home. About the same time, my father-in-law's cancer returned. He passed in mid-December. An old
family friend of my mother's passed not long after. His wife passed in February. My mother broke her hip, survived the surgery but never fully
recovered and passed away March 5th. It was a blessing in a sense for her because she was 83 and her health had been declining the last few years and
she wasn't healthy or happy. I couldn't afford to fly back east for her service and that was rough.
My stepdaughter has been having financial troubles and we try to help but are limited right now. Her husband broke his leg in a car accident last year
and his doctor still won't clear him to work because he has neurological damage. His unemployment has run out and they may not be able to cover their
rent. We don't have room to take all three of them in because when my father-in-law passed, we took my mother-in-law in. Our basement is
semi-finished but packed to the gills and we wouldn't have room for them and all their possessions.
I've been near death multiple times in my life and do not take life for granted and while there are many, many people in far more dire straits than
my family and I, happiness has been a little scarce recently.
The last time I felt happy was when I called my mother to tell her my granddaughter and I had made pizza from scratch for the first time. She laughed
because she remembered she, my one brother and I made them with the Chef Boyardee pizza kits back in the 60's and she said she wanted pictures. It
was a short time before she broke her hip and after she had initially recovered from her surgery and was back in the nursing home, my wife had printed
out the pictures. She was cutting them out to send to her when my sister called to tell us that she had passed.
I have many things to be thankful for but happiness has been kind of scarce recently. Being that all this has gone down during winter and not having a
job as a distraction hasn't helped because you're pretty much housebound and besides cabin fever, you just have too much time to think. I'm sure
that despite the current circumstances, things will improve once it warms up, the kids are out having fun playing and I can at least work in the yard.
I walk outside every day looking for the next tulip to start blooming in out flower beds. Spring is the new beginning, a rebirth.
Life in general isn't terrible but we've had a few too many sucker punches the last few months.
I suppose I'm more grateful than happy. I say that because I cannot be truly happy when I know a couple of kilometers away, children are freezing
cold in their shacks and will go to school hungry tomorrow- that's if they can afford school in the first place.
So many things about the world make me sad...I see people suffer all the time, animals going hungry, little puppies trying to survive in the
I see open land that was once reserved for nature, being built on. New malls and concrete on top of concrete. Things we just don't need.
But I am grateful that I have someone who loves me, and supports me in following my dreams. I am glad that I was able to make one person more sharing
towards the less fortunate. I am grateful that they now see what I see when a beggar is asking for food. I no longer see irritation in their eyes but
empathy. I am happy that I have the power to make people more aware and to do small things that help my community.
In a sense, I am happy only when I can see small changes in people, and when I can help someone less fortunate. That is the only time I am truly
Other times, I am grateful as well as guilty for what I have.
I will be happy when the world is content and there is no more suffering.
I am happy to be alive. I don't count the things that happen in my life anyless, and taking responsiblity for everything I feel. That right now,
everything is allways given, and my path is your path, therefore I fix you when I fix myself. I came to realise we are allready perfect, and don't
I can live knowing that If I ended up dying a natural death it would be at least justifiable. As I am afterall simply a product of nature itself.
The one thing that frightens me the most however is someone ridding me simply because they opposed my point of view. Or something as stupid like "I
have Blue Eyes" or "I have a socialist way of thinking as opposed to capitalism." I despise entirely the belief that others assume they have the
right to destroy one life simply because they have the power to do so. Only nature imo is allowed to make that decision.
Originally posted by ROBL240
I despise entirely the belief that others assume they have the right to destroy one life simply because they have the power to do so. Only nature imo
is allowed to make that decision.
Well said man.
There is no need for war except needs that man has made himself.
All my life I have lived a rotten existence. From being born in the ghetto to joining the army at an early age I have witnessed buglaries and murder
both at home and in the middle east. Happiness depends on the lives that never had the choice to live an easy life and constantly live a life of
poverty. I can consider myself lucky that I am not in the shoes of these 3rd world country citizens as I have seen just what they will do for a piece
of candy or some decent shoes. The smiles of a child given hope through handouts have made me happy for through the suffering, I have made a
difference in someones life and that is what makes me happy, helping others where it counts.
Some days Im happy ....some days are harder than others. Alot of my unhappiness comes from my past. I had a wonderful childhood, but a murder in the
family changed everything..til this day we arent the same. Ive been depressed in the past but it seems like stress is getting the best of me...lately
I've been trying to stay positive...get fresh air..enjoy the little things that are free in life....before its made illegal! ....Listening
to positive music helps..positive vibration!
wow cool post...thats true helping others always makes you feel good inside! I enjoy feeding the homeless in my area, but handing out candy to these
kids who see violence all day...your prob a superhero in their eyes!! bless ur heart
I wasnt always very happy, but I am a hard-headed person that makes things more difficult than need be.
But most of that came from being spoiled, and not realizing some of the things I was gifted with.
I was born in America, to a upper middle class family. I am musically talented, fairly intelligent, and resonably attractive. But I didnt always see
these things, and i didnt realize all of the advantages that I was given, and I made life very hard for myself. I was selfish, and self centered. I
was self important, and thought that I was entitled to something more than I had. All i cared about was me, and I didnt even realize how awful life
could be if you take away the things I was blessed with. I dont know what it's like to have to fight for even the basic of freedoms. I dont know what
it's like to be disabled/impaired-mentally or physically. I dont know what it's like to hate myself physically-either my natural looks or the result
of disfigurement. I didnt know what it was like to help someone other than myself.
Ive made some pretty big changes over the years. While outside forces that you cannot control often cause a large portion of your unhappiness and
disatisfaction, the real negative influence is usually yourself. You have to learn how to appreciate the simple things that occur often. You have to
surround yourself with positive influence. You have to learn how to think differently, on a daily basis. If you learn how to think differently,
you will realize just how much of your reality.... is meaningless. The materials, the things that people preoccupy themselves with, is worthless in
Your car isnt important.
Your house isnt important.
Your ipod isnt important.
The computer screen that you are looking at right now, isnt important.
The only thing that matters is love, both giving and recieving it. And when you learn to give, you will be truly happy.
Oh, and chocolate Hostess cupcakes make me happy, too.
While outside forces that you cannot control often cause a large portion of your unhappiness and disatisfaction, the real negative influence is
usually yourself. You have to learn how to appreciate the simple things that occur often.
That's exactly it. Too many base their self worth or happiness on how they compare to someone else, or an envisioned 'ideal'.
Perhaps as a goal that has some worth, but if it drags you down because you're not there then it's a burden you don't need.
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