This very interesting question was posed to me many years ago. I have never forgotten it. I have been known to ask myself this question when I am making decisions about my life. Today we will explore this question.
Do you want to be like everyone else?
Of course we all want to be happy. The key point here becomes what that happiness is. If we listen to what the advertising on our TV is telling us, happiness means more stuff. A new car will make us happy. A new pill will give us better health and we will be happy. New clothes will give us a new “us” and that will be happier than the old “us”.
If we watch the programs, what passes for “content” tells us that our happiness comes from our relationships. Most programs that deal in either drama or comedy revolve around the personal relationships of the characters portrayed.
Very few of these characters ever deal with the idea that we must have a good relationship with our self before we can have a good relationship with anyone else. These programs teach us that we must have someone in our life who likes us before we can like our self.
If you have read our postings about relationships you will know that I think that idea is totally backwards. Before we can like anyone else we have to learn to like our self. Anything else means we are looking for approval from others before we approve of our self. That is a sure way to be unhappy.
Finally we look at the crime stories and other violent programs. It seems to me that the purpose of these programs is primarily to scare us. We are taught to be fearful of “bad” people. These people can be terrorists in “24”, criminals in “Law & Order”, or monsters in horror programs. However you cut it, there is no happiness when you are fearful.
I realize that I am picking only one medium. However, this is the largest medium on the planet. Much of the global content has traditionally been from the USA, but this is changing. The medium of television is the most representative of how the planet views itself and the various cultures.
Do you want to be happy?
Happiness on this planet seems to be defined by acquisition of material objects and what others think of us. There does not (yet) seem to be a strong movement in the culture towards introspection and self understanding. There does not seem to be a broad interest in discovering happiness internally.
This is the heart of the question “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be like everyone else?” When we are being like everyone else we are looking for our happiness externally.
When we choose to be happy we choose for internal happiness. We choose for happiness that comes from true self. We choose to listen to our own drummer and begin to learn that traveling our own path to happiness is much more rewarding than trying to be like everyone else.
We have written extensively about happiness, true self, and attachments. What keeps us from being happy and dooms us to be like everyone else are the false self attachments. Just the fact that we want to be like everyone else is an example of those attachments.
We want their attachments
When we want to be like everyone else we are clinging to an attachment. This specific attachment is very powerful because what we are really saying is that we want to have everyone else’s attachments. If we want to be like them, that means we want to be attached to what they are attached.
Once we realize that all attachments eventually bring pain, we will also realize that we do not want to be like everyone else. They might think they are happy. They will gladly tell us how happy they are. Watch them long enough and we will see just how unhappy they really are.
As we learn to deal with our attachments we gradually learn about our happiness. We learn that we can release our attachments and not care about what others think. We learn to not talk about our lack of attachments. We just learn to be happy and not say anything.
Those who are doing the same will see. They will understand what we are doing without our having ever said a word. They will also do whatever they can to help you. They are travelling the same path and understand the importance of support that is given by one true self to another true self.
After all, isn’t this the type of person we want in our life? If we have twenty people around us who all want us to have their attachments, we have a much more difficult task. One person who is giving us true support from their true self will be of much more assistance than those twenty other people.
It gets difficult to cut the attachments and walk forward without any support. However, for the sake of your own happiness I implore you to do so.
After all, do you want to be happy or do you want to be like everyone else?
That is all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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