Saturday, December 11, 2004

American Born, Addicted to Happiness

This essay is the beginnings of what I believe about what's going on in the world right now. Namely, that we have to wake up to what is going on as a first step towards changing it.

I differ from the author, however, in her belief that we have to be willing to live in a place of suffering and that hope grows out of suffering. To be sure, we've been living in a fantasy world of an "American dream" built upon denial of what really allows it to happen. The happiness she speaks of is a facade, a mirage. Waking up from that fantasy certainly does have its own suffering and fear attached to it. But whatever we give our focus and energy to grows, so if our expectation is to need to suffer, we will certainly do that in increasing amounts.

I believe that our way out of this, our way to hope, is to believe and focus with everything we have that it is possible to have a world that works, where there truly is hope for everyone. We don't yet know what that looks like because we've never been there. However, the only way to move towards it is to believe that it is possible and let our wildest dreams help us imagine what it can look like. It is that belief in those wildest dreams that will take us there.
American Born, Addicted to Happiness

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