The Pursuit of Happiness

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These days, I find myself continuously taking stock of myself. Reflecting on how certain beliefs and opinions fit in my worldview, or how and why certain things and people matter to me. I’ve been reading a lot on minimalism as a way of life: paring away at excesses until only the essential remains. This, I’ve read, is a path to happiness.

I’m not sure of that yet. Not quite ready to live like a hermit yet, but the continuous process of taking stock seems important. I suppose I’ve been doing this unconsciously for some time. Surprising myself as I go through every layer of bullshit that I previously thought was integral to me as a person.

There are certain truths I hope to continue to cling to. Bits and pieces I picked up from my education and from the people I’ve met along the way. I maintain being socialist, in the sense that the current world systems are oppressive and dehumanizing. There has to be an alternative to capitalism, and socialism seems a viable alternative to me.

Never take anything for granted. There are no unspoken rules, no cultural taboos, nothing that we should or shouldn’t do. These are imaginary constructs we as humans have imposed on ourselves because…we’re crazy? I realize, of course, that there are laws and ethics and moralities that we should recognize if we want to be acceptable, publicly. But these cultural norms are malleable. What is acceptable now may have been severely disagreeable a handful of years ago. So these are not truths but trends in behavior, and trends are highly changable. Do what thou wilt, long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.

On the flipside, always stay true. While certain standards of behavior are malleable, be principled. Be open to new ideas, but don’t betray yourself. I’ve had a long discussion with a female friend over the acceptability and shamefulness of performing for pornography. She held that being analled, choked, and spat on for the pleasure of a paying audience was degrading. I thought degradation was subjective, and there was really nothing anyone could do that would cheapen who they are as people. There are no cheap people (although there is cheap taste)! ¬†All the same, I would not want to be analled, choked, and spat on. That’s a personal preference, and I’m going to stick to that.

“You’re not as open-minded as you say you are,” someone told me when I said I’ve never tried anal or had sex with a girl, and probably never will. No, dude, you can’t trick me that way. Not falling into peer pressure is part of staying true. So fuck you.

People are people. We shouldn’t make them into heroes or saints. We are base and imperfect, and that’s okay. And though we aspire to be better than what we are, we mustn’t lose track of this truth. Everyone has their own problems to carry, so be kind.

Life is short but it’s hard enough already. There is no measuring stick, nothing that can tell whether someone has had a better life than the other. What we do here and now may affect the people close to us, but in 50 years or so I’ll be dead. An additional 50 years to that, everyone who has ever known me will probably be dead too. There will be almost no sign that I have ever roamed this earth, and that’s okay too. Make the most of the here and now because this is vale of tears is all we’ll get. No one should be made to feel shame for wherever we derive our pleasures.

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