Hello. I’m not going to sleep unless I share this thought with somebody. If you’re still reading, I thank you.
Tonight I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. Given that short term positive gratification is generally discouraged in most cultures, I have come to reason that true happiness must be procured via long term positive gratification. I have had enough short term positive gratification in my life to know that it really doesn’t last.
Long term positive gratification can be assumed to be one of two things: elongated short term gratification (like an investment) or the avoidance of negative gratification. As the former assumption is merely short term gratification spread over a long period, the latter must be our definition.
Negative gratification can be simplified as feeling bad (it being the opposite to positive gratification). The avoidance of feeling bad is widely known as the avoidance of guilt. Avoidance of guilt is performed by simply doing what you think to be right, ergo causing minimal guilt. Short term gratification is essentially sweeping clothes under a bed… they’re still going to be there tomorrow; the problem is not solved.
So, to be happy, we should simply do what we think is right in EVERYTHING we do. No guilty little pleasures… if you feel guilty about something, it is impacting your happiness potential. Which impacts the feeling of all positive emotions, including love. Yep, I think that bad people don’t feel love as strongly as good people.
On another note, I believe that religion is merely a cultural reference point of what we should feel guilty about. Hopefully without offending any religious readers, I’m saying that religion is most useful to those uncertain of their own feelings of guilt as it reinforces/teaches individuals of guilt in varied situations. I am not saying that this is a bad thing.* In fact, I believe that shared cultural opinions are needed to promote harmony and ones set in stone solidify individual growth in their certainty, so in some perspective I believe that religion is essential.
The end. Hope I provided some food for thought.
*I do, however, find wars over religion to be petty and pointless, given that the Gods religions are based around are, to my mind, simply narrative tools used to deliver meaning and denote authority.
P.S. I know this isn’t a blog; I just haven’t got a blog so I pretend this is a blog, if that makes sense.