Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oh how I long for Average Happiness

Whether or not you enjoy Dilbert comics, you have to admit that Scott Adams, it's creator, somehow manages to always have a unique viewpoint. His latest post talks about how people are hardwired to guide each other back to the "average" amount of happiness.

If you're too sad, people try to bring you up to normal levels of happiness.
If you're too happy, people try to bring you down to normal levels of happiness.

I've never thought about it that way, but on life thus far, it seems to make sense. Although I'd never realized I was doing it consciously, I have vastly different responses to "how is life?" questions, depending on who asked. Actually, on consecutive days I might even respond differently to the same person, but tip my expressed happiness in one direction or the other depending on their current mood.

Perhaps we do this so as not to "bring down" the moods of others. Wouldn't it be better if we tipped the other way and erred on the side of making people happier?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

That tiny moment

I had to kill some time the other day, so I sat down by myself at IHOP. Of course, there are two things wrong with that sentence.
  1. I hardly ever eat out by myself
  2. I hardly ever eat at IHOP (although pancakes are fanTAStic)
For a moment, I stared out the window at an ugly stretch of road, looking at run down parking lots and storefronts, and wondered what it would be like if this was my life. On the road. Alone. In unfamiliar places.

Not that I would want that kind of life. But, for a split second it seemed as though I could be happy living a completely different life. It's like having that feeling where you just want to veer your car into the barrier or jump through a window, just to prove that you could survive.

Then the moment passes...and you wonder if you aren't a little bit crazy. My gaze drifted upwards as I came back to reality where this sign hung above my head:
Share the Gift of Happiness