Human Zeitgeist…

Reading Time: 6 minutes

My views of the world continue to morph as I move through life and gauge my experiences. I think less and less of being happy.

  • Who said anything about being happy?
  • Who says we’re supposed to be?

It reminds me of that question in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.Will Smith says: 

“When our forefathers penned the Declaration of Independence they wrote ‘…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ How did they know to add the pursuit part? That we have the right to chase happiness but there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever get it?”

~ Will Smith

I don’t think we exist to revolve around the concept of happiness. I don’t think we exist to be happy or to make people happy. I think our purposes are much more firm. To provide. To work. To build. To construct. To make contribution to the human zeitgeist and 

Increase the human sphere of understanding. Happiness is a fickle pursuit—constructive only because of the secondary and tertiary effects it may accidentally propitiate. Essentially: in chasing after happiness we may incur goodness or levy goodness upon the world. That is probably true. But somehow the forefathers were wise enough to know that happiness is a road, not a destination. It is a way of living, a path and direction in which we venture. In mathematical terms happiness is a vector. It is my personal belief that by pursuing happiness we may generate something inside ourselves which is more solid than happiness—a matter which we are able to formulate only through its pursuit—joy

I think that the chasing after happiness could be called something else: purpose. And I believe purpose can yield joy. Not that purpose automatically yields joy but that purpose enables us to choose joy. I think some of the most beautiful concepts in human life don’t happen to us the way we so often describe them. Instead we have to choose them. The choosing them makes them even more meaningful because of the work they require; because they demand time, attention, and energy. Things like LOVE, JOY, and BELIEF are action words. They require us to consistently prove their existence through our behavior. We must choose to love, choose to joy, and choose to believe. 

When you choose to love someone you exhibit loving behaviors. You don’t use disagreement as reason to compromise your love; you use disagreement as opportunity to prove your love. You humble yourself, you apologize, you compromise, you perform loving acts exactly when someone is at their least deserving. You don’t predicate your love or loyalty on someone else’s behavior; you predicate your actions on yourself.

When you choose to joy in something you do this apart from your circumstances. It is not dependent upon a good day or bad day and has nothing to do with emotion. You make a choice to select joy. In the worst of circumstances we can still find optimism and resilience and hope, which are the building blocks of all joy. 

When you choose belief you step out in support of your belief. When you believe something your actions reflect your belief. There is the biblical scripture: “Faith without works is dead.” If I am told my house is on fire and I say “Okay! Thanks! I believe you!” but do not leave the house, it’s clear I did not believe. If I say I want to be _____, or I want to change my way of living, or I am going to recommit to _____, but do not support that with action, I am not choosing belief. 

The other portion of my thoughts lately revolve around God. I think we spend so much time debating whether or not God exists that we have failed to ask the more important question:

  • If God exists then what?
  • So what if God exists?
  • What does that mean for me? 

If you’re waiting for an answer to the former or latter question I have none. All I can do is read the evidence in my life. And as far as I can tell my life has been a series of dice rolls, random mathematical probabilities that have created a poor mockup of incongruous happenings. I have had bad and good in my life with little correlation to times of personal piety. Believers often discount human assessments of bad times by saying that God has ultimate wisdom which man does not possess. It’s an easy way to account for negatives by saying that they could be positive in a grander scheme. Maybe that is true but many of these believers who say God cannot be blamed for the world’s evil are the same believers who pray to God for intervention in the daily affairs of their own lives. I don’t know how to reconcile that. 

I just don’t see God in this world. There are beautiful things. I don’t dispute that. But then they get trashed. The good and bad is in disarray and there’s no conceivable pattern to the ups and downs of life.

  • God is in control? How so?

If a person is in the driver seat of a moving car with their hands off the wheel would you say they have the car under control just because they’re in the driver’s seat? The apt bumper sticker: SHIT HAPPENS feels more and more like the only prevailing wisdom. SHIT HAPPENS with no real guiding form. 

Maybe that’s why this attitude is piercing my book lately.

  • Henry finds God, sure, but then what?

God is just as weak in our world as we are in our world. What’s worse: maybe he chooses to be. Maybe the biggest element is this: God is in the world but so what? That’s how I feel. If he is here who gives a damn? I don’t see him doing anything. I don’t see any particular deliverance. I don’t see any particular loyalty to the people who are loyal to him. So what the fuck is the point? 


We are stuck here. And you are alone, Henry. But there is

Graphic Composition:
by: Darlene Carroll

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Background Imagery:
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  1. I have been asking myself a lot of these questions lately. Sadly, I have no answers. After reading this, I am looking at things differently. That you for helping me reevaluate some things.

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