Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happiness Runs: Our Circular Search for Meaning and Joy

Do you know the children's story, If You Give a Pig a Pancake (If You Give...)?




I had a minor epiphany about that story tonight.

I actually thought of it yesterday and in a very circular fashion came back to it tonight. And by the way, this circular theme is, well...a theme.

So, we are getting a new roof tomorrow because of hail damage our roof suffered from two hail storms back in April. Almost every house on our street and in a 4 or 5 block radius has either gotten a new roof or is about to. No joke.

Anyway, I was thinking that once we have a new roof, we're going to want to paint. And just like that pig who needs syrup to go with her pancakes, once we paint, we're going to want new doors. And once we have new doors, we're going to want to replace our front steps, and once those new steps are in, we'll need new outdoor lighting, and once we have new lighting, we're going to want to re-landscape...

And, well... you get the idea.

So, tonight I realized that Pig and its sister books are really just metaphors for Life and Its (Our) never-ending search for happiness.


In each of those books, the main character – Pig, Moose, Mouse, Etc. – asks for something he or she believes will make them happy. But once they have that thing, the darling creature decides it really needs something else in addition to or instead of the original item until they work themselves in a (aha!) circular fashion, back to the item they began with.

And so it is with the rest of us that we live when we live unconsciously.

We're always looking for the next great thing that is going to change our lives and make us happy. It doesn't matter what it is...
house, boat, car, wife, husband, dog, cat, boyfriend, girlfriend, job, hat, hairdo, plastic surgery, baby, baby boy, baby girl, one more baby... Whether it's something that we have that we've craved and longed for and put all our hope in or just something that caught our attention and our whim, we barely acknowledge the moment or show any gratitude for what we have before the magic and thrill fade and we're left looking for our happiness fix.

And ultimately we end up back where we started. Back wanting another pancake, another muffin, another house, another car.... Defeated by our inability to live in the moment, to be content with what we have, to be grateful for what we have when we have so much.

1 comment:

Kel said...

Isn't it amazing what can bring the most innocent thing to the foreground of our thoughts? You are so right, I try to enjoy what I have and be happy with the 'right now' instead of 'tomorrow' but I do not always succeed. There will always be something, if we let it...

Great post! :)
~K