The Happiness Burden

Mezzegra_alleyway_1We love the pursuit of happiness, we love seeing it disappear around the corner, down an ally. That chase is everything.

But much like a dog chasing a car, if we catch happiness, we don’t know what to do with it.

Happiness is work. If we admit to being happy, we have a responsibility to stay happy. Maybe even admit we deserve to be happy. And then, even harder, make others happy. It’s too much work to sustain happiness.

So we don’t want to be happy. We just want to chase it. For all the competitiveness of our culture, we never claim to be happier than someone else. Or know more about how to be happy. Or how to stay happy. Nope. We’ll deny it. As if it were bad luck.

So maybe it’s the pursuit we love. The chase. The just-out-of-reach-ness of happiness. It’s the best when it’s the one that got away. Owning happiness is a burden. Chasing it is an adventure.

–Quinn McDonald loves the pursuit of happiness.

Image: Ally in Mezzegra, photo by Aconcagua, Wiki Commons GFDL, Cc-by-sa-3.0