Happiness: It’s A Feeling, Not A Pursuit

1890 words - 8 pages

When I was little and up to my late teen years I always thought that the American dream was to own a big house with nice cars, a boat maybe, a dog or two, to live a happy life, make lots of money, have a couple kids and a nice chiseled piece of man candy on my arm. Seems nice right? Especially the money and man candy part. I feel like when I was younger, I sometimes based my parents love on how many nice things they would buy me for my birthday, or maybe at just random times. Silly to think that I gauged my parents love and my happiness on the material things I received as a child. It seems like these days, society and social media seem to define happiness as having either a lot of money, or a lot of really nice things. They label happiness as a GOAL instead of a FEELING. This is where so many people experience disappointment when it comes to happiness. The Declaration of Independence states that one of our unalienable rights’ is to be happy in life. Yes, it’s true, we all strive to be happy in life but do we really think about what happiness means to us in a realistic way? Society and social media has a skewed definition of happiness. We simply focus too much on the pursuit of happiness rather than focusing on the positive emotions and feelings that we experience every day. Happiness is a positive emotion we experience; it’s not something that we should label as a goal.
I guarantee almost every American has said once, “I wish I could win the lottery”. We seem to have the mind-set that if we did win the lottery, life would be ten million times better than it is now. I have to admit, I spend a couple bucks a month on scratch/lottery tickets. All the commercials and advertising make winning the lottery seem like some kind of gate-way for happiness. That wasn’t the case for Mack Metcalf, who won 65 million in a Kentucky lottery back in 2000. After he found out that he had won, he clocked out of work and never returned. He previously had drinking problems, a dysfunctional family life, and a poor paying job. He was planning on not only quitting his job, but, to quit everything and move away to a foreign country. He told Kentucky lottery officials, “I’m moving to Australia. I’m going to totally get away. I’m going to buy several houses there, including one on the beach” (Brooks, Arthur). He actually never ended up moving out of the country, but instead staying in America and spending his millions on a 43-acre estate, expensive cars, and exotic animals. (Brooks, Arthur). People started to notice who he was and kept asking for money, especially when he was drunk. It all went downhill from there. Metcalf started drinking heavily again and was paranoid that people around him wanted him dead. Unfortunately, in December of 2003 at the age of just 45, he died from cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis. (Brooks, Arthur). Cases like this happen all the time. Not all resulting in early death of course, but people do seem to realize after losing millions, that...

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