Archive for the Happiness Category

Peace, Love, & Bulls#*!

Posted in Happiness, Life, Love, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by Patrick Roe

“Peace, love, and happiness” are three words that get slapped onto bumper stickers, tank tops, coffee mugs, and beautiful JPEG images of natural landscapes. People plop these three empty words on everything, hoping that they are sending some profound message to the people around them that they believe in these abstract, one-word ideals. That somehow by pledging their allegiance to “Peace, love, and happiness” it will magically come true, and the world will stand up and rejoice.

But do we even understand these words, really?

Let’s start with the first word: Peace. It’s often associated with utopian societies, monks meditating in a monastery, and a bunch of long haired hippies tripping on acid in San Francisco during the mid to late 60’s. The most absurd notion is one that the U.S. armed forces will always get behind, that “Peace is worth fighting for.” A quote I like to reference is “Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.” What do we really want when we say we want peace? Inner peace? Peace on Earth? A time machine to the 60’s?

If we achieved a peace on Earth, would we even know it? Suppose we abolished war, weapons, and hatred in 99.8% of the world. Then one of those pesky .2%’ers goes and strangles their neighbor with a shoe lace and the only thing on international news for 3 straight days is how any one of your neighbors could be a crazed killer. Is there no longer peace on Earth? Did the shoe-lace-strangler ruin it for everybody? What about inner peace? Suppose you meditate for 43 years straight and achieve it, and monks everywhere hail you as the second coming of Buddha. Then you’re having a really bad day, and you throw you’re MacBook Air out of the monastery window. Because you had a sudden emotional, human reaction has your enlightenment been shattered? Do you have to be as tranquil as a lake on a breezeless day for the rest of your life? How boring is that?!

On to the next word, Love. It could be the most powerful word in the English language, but it’s not. People will say “They love their wife” and then follow it up with “I love Ramen noodles” in the same breath. All of us who can’t think of a better word, or can’t handle just “liking” something, have literally sucked all of the lifeblood out of the word “Love”. So when you see some Subaru with a “Peace, Love, Happiness” bumper sticker, which kind of love are they referring to? That they love vegan food, love Obama, love that new gluten free pasta? If they divorce their husband do they put a big Sharpie X through the word Love and just strive for Peace and Happiness instead?

And happiness, oh yes happiness. We can see how happy everyone is in line for Starbucks at 6am. Everyone spends their life on the “pursuit of happiness”, so then why do so many people look unhappy? I guess that $5 bumper sticker, $15 coffee mug, and $20 tank top didn’t cut it.

I could go on and on, but I’ll expedite that process by saying three things:

Peace is not a destination, it’s an infinite journey.

Love only has meaning if you give it meaning.

Happiness can only be found if you actively work towards it every day.