Posts Tagged ‘human nature’

h1

in response to a comment

February 9, 2011

i originally wrote this as an answer to a comment on “the road of lost innocence.” however, because its subject departs from the point of that very serious post, i thought i’d reproduce a more eloquent version of my answer here rather than taking more focus away from the Somaly Mam Foundation.

the comment was,

i’m confident that people aren’t happy with someone unless they’d be happy without them, anyhow. mp

this comment related more to my recent singledom post where i moan and groan about being lonely and boyfriend-less. anyway, i’ve heard variations of this maxim and even used it myself a few times. but i think, on deeper reflection, that it’s too simplistic a rule.

  1. first, humans are social creatures. i don’t think we’re meant to spend large amounts of time by ourselves. through the ages, there has been a progression from how people used to live in close-knit households and communities, to the sort of lives a lot of us now lead—flying solo in our own apartments and marrying late in life, if at all. in some places like india, you still see extended families living together and on top of each other, no one having their own room or privacy. now we come home every day to empty apartments. freedom, yes, but the concession we make for our privacy is greater distance, geographically and emotionally, from the people around us. that’s why, to me, it makes sense that when you have that BEST best friend to be particularly close to, it’s possible to finally achieve the content that was still somewhat out of reach when single. i don’t think this is true for everyone. it’s the closeness, the connectedness to people, that we need, and for some people that doesn’t have to be through a relationship.
  2. i think happiness is a kind of complex state-of-being that doesn’t necessarily preclude feeling lonely sometimes. they aren’t mutually exclusive. i see happiness as the measure of your overall emotional state—a sort of mathematical average of your week or month that allows for a few blips.
  3. also, i see happiness as somewhat relative. i’m the happiest i’ve ever been in my life. monday, i took my dog for a long walk and came to realize that i was just randomly grinning. yesterday, i spent a very wonderful day with my grandparents celebrating their 56th anniversary (olive garden + 500 card rummy and family gossip = bliss). and these aren’t isolated incidents of happiness. so i would say that despite my bouts of loneliness, i am happy. if i had the right person in my life, i could be even happier. it’s really just about a level of contentedness. obviously, if you’re suicidal, no significant other in the world is going to make you happy. but if you’re a glass-85%-full happy, i think that’s enough.

what do you think? i might be talking out of my ass or making excuses.

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