Happiness Wants and needs….Why is the pursuit of happiness our goal?

523968_271371762956893_114119372015467_605215_1210947198_n

Happiness these days has become so thoroughly entombed in the notion of having all that you want, instead of all that you need, that even imagining a life without either a phone or the inter net is far closer to most people’s version of hell than it ever  would be their  version of happiness.

Which is odd really considering that on some parabolic level we all agree that money cannot buy happiness…..

Or is it that money cannot buy love?

Neither of which is true by the way.

If you are desperately poor and lacking in food, than money would indeed buy you a larger slice of the happiness pie than the one you are currently languishing on.

Remember it’s about having all that you need….. not all that you want.

And as for love….. well….. I guess that’s entirely dependent on your overall concept of love….

Though I have to say….. there aren’t too many lonely millionaires out there….

Whether or not you call paid companionship, in whatever form it takes, (trophy wives, toy boys, sex workers) love, is entirely up to you.

But regardless of the trivialities involved we all buy into the lie that the latest job, car, house, partner, gadget, clothes or holiday destination, will lead us ever closer toward our ultimate goal of happiness.

But why must happiness be our goal in the first place?

Could it be that we humans are now all such greedy creatures that like drug addicts we are all searching for the next big hit of happiness?

A feeling of complete well-being that  we’d once experienced organically only in the brief, and the mostly intrinsically earned, moments of time?

Is the endless pursuit of happiness now nothing more than the futile attempt to locate a drug dealer of the mind who simply does not exist?

A dealer who could in reality have never existed because happiness is and always has been a virtue of the soul and not a reward of the mind?

Could we have gotten the concept of happiness so completely confused, that all we are doing in our pursuit of it, is causing ourselves the unnecessary pain of expecting a transient experience to become an unrealistic and unsustainable constant?

Has the idea of happiness become an impossible yard stick?

A stick we use to measure ourselves, to judge our lives by and find them so constantly wanting,  that we now end up  beating ourselves over the head with it instead?

What do you think?

What would make you happy?

 

The continuing pursuit of happiness…. why should it be that happiness becomes such an issue?

Why should it be that happiness, or the lack there of, becomes such an overwhelming issue, for so many, that it needs to be pursued?

Tirelessly tracked down  until the source of its lack is accounted for, measured and named like a chemical element.

‘Ah yes Mr Jones, here’s the source of your lament, you are lacking in personal character, take two Personal Character Tablets and call me in the morning if your happiness doesn’t return to you immediately.

I repeat, happiness does not work that way.

If it did then pharmaceutical companies might actually be able to produce pills that really do increase the likelihood of long-term happiness instead of repeatedly taking  away any chance the human body ever had of creating it’s own self-sustaining level of dopamine .

Drugs don’t work that way, happiness doesn’t work that way and neither do people.

Can you imagine, just for one minute, what it would be like if we did all work that way?

Chances are the world would lapse into some sort of blissed out coma.

There would be no more economic rationalization to be endured  because we would no longer believe that  the golden three, money, success and economic achievement, hold the keys to happiness.

Without the need to chase money we’d all become more like spaced out drones than cut throat capitalist free market entrepreneurs.

The economy would collapse if everyone chose to tune in to happiness and then, once personally contented, happily dropped out of any and all market force based competition.

And let’s face it, capitalism needs your  unhappiness in order to function.

After all, if everyone stopped chasing the ‘dream’ of owning their own home or at the very least stopped purchasing the latest gadgets and decided that they were happy enough with the first I-Phone, then nothing more need ever be brought.

Perhaps the only sense in chasing happiness around like lost puppies are the cents to be had by big corporations, who consistently mange to convince us their products will increase our chances of attaining happiness?.

 

I Prefer The Convergence of Intangibles Over the Pursuit of Happiness

An emoticon with a smile. For more emoticons i...

I think sometimes, that if you have to work so hard at happiness,  as to pursue it, then surely it can’t be either a natural nor a perpetual state at all.

I’m not one for pursuing.

I’ve never been much of a chaser of things.

Though I’m not adverse to the concept of pursuing one’s imagination.

Or following a thought through to the limitless ends available to any given scenario.

Yet as much as I love ideas, I’ve never been easily convinced by another person’s truth simply because they say it is so.

I have always been the type to seek my own answers.

Prickly I know.

Though these days I am much more intrigued with figuring out the right questions to ask in the first place.

So I guess you could say that I’ve always  preferred the convergence of  intangibles over the conquering  of such things as wealth, success and ownership of a home.

Pretty much all of the things that are meant to afford one happiness are of relatively little consequence to me.

That being said, I barely understand this driving need that everyone seems to feel to ‘pursue’ happiness.

As if it were some quarry in need of hunting down.

Some living tangible thing that can be captured, perhaps even devoured and pinned to the wall like a trophy.

In my book you are either happy or you are not and neither happiness or the lack there off, should be seen as maintaining any set form of permanent residence in one’s life.

Happiness has its own natural ebb and flow.

And no amount of pursuing it will ever gain you whatever it is that you have been taught to feel is the cause of your unhappiness.

Happiness  just doesn’t work that way.

Life doesn’t work that way.

And more importantly, people don’t work that way.

Though for some infernal reason we choose to pursue the concept that we can create, even make manifest, our own happiness simply by believing ourselves able to do so.

Of course the fact that all of this focusing on our lack of happiness and the accompanying endless pursuit of the eradication of unhappiness leaves us depleted, vulnerable and often times more miserable than if we’d simply chosen to wrap our heads with vinegar and brown paper while waiting for the ebb and flow to continue, remains ignored.

I wonder why that is?

Paradox

Don't fly away...

 

Nothing is,

 

As it,

 

Was,

 

Nothing was,

 

As it,

 

Is.

 

 

Homosexuality isn’t a health risk… Hatred is.

Homosexuality isn’t a health risk,

Though homophobia most certainly is.

Hatred is a poison letter,

Its message,

Kills both the sender,

And the receiver,

It is hatred that allows,

One group of  people,

To forget so easily,

That the human condition,

Requires more than just faith,

To love is an act,

It is an Aspect of being,

Love does not discriminate,

For discrimination is hatred’s food,

So why fill your plate,

With such an unpalatable,

Misunderstanding?

 

 

What Does The Structure of Your Face Say About You?

The Mona Lisa.

Do the corners of your mouth naturally curve upwards?

Are you one of those lucky people who always seem to be wearing a perpetual smile?

Even when you’re not trying or are relaxed and not thinking about anything in particular at all?

Are your eyebrows shaped in such a way, that even when you frown, your face still looks far more welcoming than it does fierce?

If so then you may find that your facial structure  lends you an overall look of a contentment , friendliness and warmth, that others may find appealing.

If the corners of your mouth have a tendency to naturally curve downwards, then you may often be perceived as unhappy, even when you are simply nothing more than relaxed.

This may lead to people telling you to ‘smile’ more often than is warranted.

Or asking you if you are upset or thinking about something sad when you may be thinking about nothing more emotionally substantial than your shopping list.

If your eyebrows have a tendency to bunch together easily, especially when you are concentrating, then you may be perceived to be always frowning.

This may make others view you as unfriendly, hostile or generally ill tempered.

None of the above assumptions are necessarily reflective of your genuine personality and yet….. it seems that the natural structure of your face , rightly or wrongly, can affect the way others perceive you.

And all of this goes on without you even having the opportunity to say a single word in your defence.

 

Disability, Special Needs, Differently-Abled, Autism, Asperger’s, Down Syndrome and Carers Connect Add your blog to this Open Sunday Link

If you blog about your experiences of living with or caring for a family member with a  Disability, or write about Special Needs, or  describe and share the reality of being Differently – Abled from a first person point of view in your blog, then I’d love the opportunity to read and learn from your words.

So if you are an individual blogging about life with Special Needs or the parent of a child or young adult who is Differently Abled, or even the son or daughter of an elderly parent experiencing  a new way of life as a carer,  please add you blog link below so that we can find each other and connect within the WordPress Blogosphere.

Cheers 7

Puberty Blues… Then and Now….Do you think it’s easier being a teenager in today’s society?

Puberty Blues

Is it just me or is anyone else experiencing ‘flash backs’ of their own adolescents while watching ‘Puberty Blues’?

The music, the fashion, the coming of age in a time when the confusion over cultural identity seemed to sit  so distinctly at odds against the fading line of  our parents ideas of what ‘should’ and shouldn’t be done.

A time filled with Shagging Wagons and teen sex that relied almost exclusively on girls saying ‘yes’ to the demands of  ‘cool’ boys purely for social status.

The cool girls, of course, were the ones that said yes.

The moles, or the desperately ‘uncool girls’,  were the ones who were never asked to climb into the back of a tin box on wheels and give over their bodies to the fumbling of  a ‘cool’ boy’s sweaty hands.

The loners were usually the  girls who  refused to buy into the whole concept of conforming to the coolness of promiscuity and ‘sexual liberation’.

Today the clothes and the hairstyles are different and teens are no longer forced to try and have private conversations over the family phone with everyone listening in, but apart from that, has anything really changed?

There are still the in cliques and the outcasts.

Still the cool girls who say yes and the social pariahs who say no.

Still the cool boys who play sport and the whimpy boys who do not.

I know which group I slotted into but which group did you belong to growing up?

And do you think there’s much difference in being a teenager today as opposed to being a teenager back  then (in the 70’s)?

Have your say and vote on which decade you’d rather have grown up in.

 

Christian Lobby Activist Claims “Homosexuality Is More Dangerous Than Smoking”.

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

 

Jim Wallace speaking at an Australian University forum today claimed that ‘the packaging of the homosexual lifestyle’ sends a deceitfully dangerous message to today’s youth.

 

Wallace, siting a 2004 study,  claims that  there are more inherent health risks in being Gay than in smoking.

 

He draws the inference that smoking generally shortens a person’s life by 10 years where as being Gay, according to him, shortens a person’s life by 20 years.

 

His figures were derived from a study which indicated that young Gay males were 14 times more likely than young heterosexual males to take their own lives.

 

When asked to consider the fact that young Gay males may be taking their own lives as a consequence of societies history of discrimination and intolerance toward the Gay community Wallace denied the possibility.

 

Instead he seemed to be of the opinion that Gay men hate themselves for being Gay and that their suicides were instead some form of moral self-eradication.

 

With comments such as these issuing forth from a member of the Christian Lobby it is obvious that the level of discrimination, intolerance and oppression, that has already driven too many within the Gay community to their deaths , is still continuing.

 

I am completely horrified that anyone could use the suicide rates of young Gay men in such a heinous and cruelly misrepresentative  way.

 

Wallace appears to have completely missed the point that attitudes such as his are largely responsible for the continuing levels  of discrimination that those within the Gay community experience.

 

His own agenda of prejudice is further exposed by his argument that the legalization of Gay Marriage would further see impressionable young people buying into the ‘myth’ that homosexuality is both normal and acceptable.

 

Well Mr Wallace, the only ‘myths’ surrounding the abnormality of homosexuality are the ones that you and your cronies have consistently made up to try and justify your own disgustingly limited views on this subject.

 

I think it’s high time you take a leaf out of your own Bible and begin working on removing the plank from your own eye, as it is clearly obstructing your view of what is a very real and extremely important issue of  the violation of  a sub-set of the communities human rights.

 

Who knows, perhaps in time, you too might even learn how to turn the other cheek.

 

 

 

Breaking Point. The crisis facing parents of Young Adults with Special Needs in Australia.

Young couple with baby.

 

 

For some parents of special needs children, living the dream of having a happy home and family life, was simply never, ever going to be an option.

Last year SBS aired an ‘Insight’ forum discussion with parents of young adults with special needs  who have relinquished their child’s care over to the State as a consequence of not receiving the support they as individuals, carers, parents and families required to adequately maintain the level of care needed at home.

 

Many of the parents and family members who took part in the discussion stated that they had been calling for ” in home help” and support for years.

 

All to no avail.

 

Even on the rare occasions when  children had qualified for respite care, families were then told that the waiting lists for those respite services were months even years long.

 

One mother described dedicating months of valuable time having her child’s and her families level of need assessed, only to be told at the end of the assessment process, that although her family did indeed qualify for assistance there was no longer any funding available to provide the hours of  care support they had indeed qualified for.

 

Throughout this discussion families reported that their pleas for help and support went routinely unanswered and that the lack of recognition over their genuine need for support led ultimately to a state of crisis.

 

Parents found that it was only once they’d hit that state of absolute crisis and inability to cope with the daily care regimes of their special needs children that any help was offered at all.

 

By then however, the parents and families concerned, had often reached too deep a level of desperation and exhaustion to turn back from the relinquishing process.

 

Many stated that, if  instead of having their pleas ignored or told there was no funding, they’d received the support and respite needs they’d asked for over the course of many years,  then perhaps they may have been able to provide in home care for a longer period of time.

 

Though as one mother pointed out, that as young children with special needs grown into young adults with special needs, there will always be significant issues that parents as full-time carers will have to confront in terms of their child’s on going care needs.

 

Often this means confronting issues of personal safety as aging parents are left to care for adult children whose level of physical strength far out weighs  their own.

 

Parents also state that as full-time carers they literally cannot work outside the home. They therefore usually have no income other than the Carers Pension.

 

This means that they also have no Superannuation.  

 

So as  parental full-time carers of special needs children age, they very  often have little to no additional financial resources to fall back on.

 

This means that they can’t  ‘pay’ for private carers to help them and that unless their children/young adults  qualify for government support via support agencies, the parents are  placed in a position in which they have no option but to relinquish their children/young adults into State care.

 

As one mother says in relation to the charge that as families and parents they are failing in their responsibilities to care for their children…….

 

Our Children are not the burden. It is the broken system that is the burden not our beautiful children. If we could have gotten the help and support we needed to function as full-time carers, we’d still be doing it, but we couldn’t get any help until we’d reached crisis point and by then , for us as a family, it was too late.”

 

Another father wept as he openly admitted that he could never go back to the chaos, stress and daily depression he’d dealt with for years, while trying to get the support his family needed in order to properly care for his son at home.

 

Many parents who had relinquished the daily care of their young adults to the State also expressed that there was a sense in which the alleviation of the stress of having to maintain their young adults daily care routine, once again allowed them to become  parents who were able to fully delight in their child/young adult.

 

For families relinquishing care does not equate to handing a young adult over to the State and never seeing them again, as is the common understanding of relinquishing care. Instead it equates to the certainty of knowing that their young adult is receiving the daily care that they need.  The care is quite simply being provided outside of the home environment by people who are being paid to do so. This way of providing care enables all family members to maintain  full contact.

 

Though the expectation is that parents of children with special needs should automatically take on the role of full-time parental carers as their children grow into young adults with special needs, the experiences of some of the parents within this discussion  indicated that it is time to begin to address and challenge the many issues and inconsistencies involved with such an expectation.

 

The honesty with which these parents gave voice to an issue that is fast becoming a silent epidemic, shrouded in shame and personal blame is simply amazing.

 

I for one hope that discussions such as these continue to be brought out into the public arena so that those outside the experience of caring daily for a young adult with special needs can gain a greater understanding of the complexity of the issues facing not just young adults with special needs but also their parents as carer’s and their  entire family members.

 

Anyone interested in watching  Insight’s Breaking Point click on the link below.

 

http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/2272818399/Insight-Breaking-Point-Sarah-on-respite