For those of us who have to deal with pathologically positive thinkers and those who think Happy = Correct.
Here’s the full note I talk about from my old facebook days:
“Unhappiness is Intolerable”
Before we get to the meat of the matter, please take a moment to think of people who you consider to be generally unhappy. Why do you think they are like that?:
They are too negative and need to learn the power of positive thinking.
They think too much, they just need to chill-- smoke a joint/ have a beer.
There are many factors to consider; race, religion, socialization, class, money, etc.
They have an overblown sense of entitlement and need to accept life for what it is.
They just haven't found their niche yet; career, love, healthy peer group, etc.
They are empathetic and are sensitized to the injustice and suffering in the world.
Dumb question, I don't impose my concept of happiness on others.
I suspect that as you read, you figured that each statement could apply depending on the case… I bet the last statement sounded very attractive, but let's be honest, you do so!
Well, some of you know how confounded I am by the way people talk about happiness. As a concept, it arises again and again in political and philosophical discourse, where it is treated as an ultimate end. But in day to day interaction, I constantly notice people use and interpret the word "unhappy" as if it's an insult-- an indication of a deficient or abhorrent character. There is a logical gap here, that got us from the notion that we ought to pursue happiness, to suddenly assuming that everyone ought to be happy now. Indeed, I recently saw a neo-nazi take offense to being called unhappy!
It seems clear to me that there has been an oversimplification and fetishization of the concept of happiness, and this has given rise to a certain pathology in our society. Honestly, I can not live a single day without encountering someone who expresses shock at any remark or behaviour th…