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  • Writer's pictureAndrew White

You could be happy

Geometric image of a Mayan temple looking down from above. Artist unknown

Artist unknown

The pursuit of happiness is one of the traditional rights of man; unfortunately, the achievement of happiness may turn out to be incompatible with another of man’s rights, namely liberty. Aldous Huxley

You could be happy. Happy like a fucking donkey strapped to a cart. Satiated by a regular carrot, a scratch behind the ear, some hay and a bucket of water at the end of the day. Happy because you have submitted. Given up your responsibility in order to be bound to the yoke of someone else’s charge. Preferring to be bounded to something, anything, simply so you don’t have to wrestle with the freedom of your own independent thought and subsequent psychological storms. You could be happy. Happy as an automaton, blinkered and clopping through life to the tempo of someone else.


Freedom doesn’t mean happiness, in fact it very likely means the opposite, particularly when it is first grasped. Newly found freedom can often be terrifying, as all the possibility of the world comes flooding in and you are made aware of all that you could be which you are not. Like the first moments when we wake up from sleep and are dazed, confused and vulnerable - freedom simply exposes you to the dazzling, disorienting potential of life.


It takes a conscious focus to aim at that which you are interested and through that focus, build on what sustains that interest and brings the focus into reality. Our interest determines what we value and by focusing on what we value we begin to breakdown the overwhelming vastness of the world’s potentialities into a world that we can handle, that we can mould into something that will allow us to manifest our own latent power. Freedom doesn’t mean happiness. However it allows us the capacity to make our own decisions that can harness our own potential in the pursuit of something that we value, something that is relevant to who we are.

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