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Against Happiness > Letters

Web Letter

I ran across this article by accident today. I'm glad it was still there after all these months. I wanted to thank Annabelle Gurwitch for writing it. I have been going through a difficult for a few days now. I, like her, don't come by happiness naturally. I have tried to do all the things society feels I should do to be happy. It has not worked. I have also noted that it seems everyone is selling Happiness. It's posted everywhere we look, on the majority of greeting cards we buy, books on self help and Dr. Phil has made a bundle trying to help us become Happy. It doesn't ring true to me. I see problems everywhere I look. I take to heart how these problems affect us and how they will affect millons in the future. I take problems very seriously whether they are close to me or far from me. "Be Happy" just feels to me like not taking any personal responsibility for things that you deem out of your control. I see irony everywhere with the Happiness Doctrine and, more alarming, I see an inbalance if we all get happy. Isn't that just what those with the greatest wealth would like us to do. Ignore the problems that are created by the greedy and be happy? Buy more stuff, poluted more air, make more foul our water? If we ignore what is wrong with ourselves and society, if we don't have the watchdogs, the doomsayers if you like, who's minding the store? Why are the Happy Crowd so threatened by those of us who simply aren't born happy? I think everyone should be able to have a little happiness throughout their life, but their goal should not be to never be sad, negative or depressed. Without contrast we do not appreciate things. The goal of being able to shrug off what doesn't make us feel good is dangerous territory. It leads to willful ignorance, and although I would never suggest that a constant state of unhappines is a good thing, certainly anything which projects us directly up to the opposite end of the spectrum can't be good either. Thanks again so much for a little validation.

Darla Horn

Corning, NY

Feb 18 2008 - 5:51pm

Web Letter

So you're unhappy from doing it all but hanging out too much eating no doubt butterless popcorn watching a cretinous show like Mad Men.

You know, I know you New Yorkers (are you, indeed, a New Yorker?) can't get enough of yourselves, but if you want happiness, come out to San Diego, I'll show you some happiness.

Otherwise, turn off the subtle, manipulative & largely morally depraved shows you're watching like Mad Men. take it from someone who knows: your life will improve in way you can't imagine, and you might even experience a "happiness" you felt was somehow being denied to you in all of your post-modern, female glory.

S. Debs

San Diego, CA

Oct 5 2007 - 1:03pm

Web Letter

Ms. Gurwitch, you either need to ask for a bigger raise or lessen your time in the office.

A.J. Cook

Dunwoody, GA

Oct 3 2007 - 5:15pm

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