Saturday. This is what I wrote about happiness a couple of days ago. You don’t have to agree or share my point of view. Just know why I feel/think in this particular way.

Last year I wanted to write about happiness so I started looking for quotes. There are so many. And there was this one that really made my stomach turn and shake my head. The more I read it, the more I hated it. I couldn’t believe how much the stupid quote affected me.
This is my most hated quote:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.28.51 PM

A few months after I wrote that post I decided to enter a writing contest and I chose that post as my piece. I rewrote it a bit to make it more reader friendly because I realized that my rage was kind of in the way when I wrote it originally.

This is my essay:

Some time ago, I was searching for a quote about happiness. Because for me, being happy, is one of the most important things. I have to admit that I read A LOT of quotes, but none of them really inspired me.

There was one by Henry David Thoreau appearing over and over again and the more I read it, the more I disagreed with it. To the point that I started to hate it deeply.

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Sorry Thoreau, I don’t think you did a good job with this one.

Why would someone choose to compare happiness with a butterfly? Among ALL the animals, why to choose the one whose life is ephemeral? (Or really, really short, ranging from one week to one year maximum, in the case of some species).

We humans live a lot more than one year and if you tell me that I’m going to get only one year of happiness I start getting depressed and ask myself if life is worth living.

Then when/how do you get to be happy? Apparently, in order to be happy, you also need to be very lucky. And even so, it’s not sure that you’ll be happy for a long time.

So if I understood properly, you get to be happy for a little while IF:

1) The butterfly sits on your shoulder immediately after it gets to adult stage. That way you have better chances of being happy for longer time.

2) Then you need to be extra lucky and hope to get the butterfly that lives more than one week. (If you get the short living butterfly AND you get it the day it dies, what can I say?! You are screwed!).

And, if you don’t pursue happiness, what should you do? Start a knitting course? Wouldn’t it be better to get a butterfly net and catch as many as you can?

Then let’s say that finally the butterfly sits on your shoulder (AND it’s the long living one AND it sits on your shoulder the same day that it leaves its pupa stage), can you move and be happy or you have to vegetate because there is the chance that it’ll fly away and take YOUR happiness with it?!?

I don’t know if all of you agree with me but I think we must pursue happiness.

A couple of days ago I wrote a post asking you if you would take a risk and bet on happiness, supposing that some years ago you wished for something to be different in your life and now you get the chance to have your wish granted.

Randstein replied with this comment and it made smile really wide because I’m not the only person who thinks that we are “Tt he ones who write our book”. That means, you decide what you do, you take the risks, you choose to be happy… Because if you sit and wait, most likely, nothing will happen.

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And it could sound contradictory but there is something that will probably happen even when you sit and wait and nothing happens…
You’ll regret all the things you didn’t do when you had the chance to do them.



~ by DotedOn on June 13, 2015.

21 Responses to “290”

  1. Reblogged this on SURVIVORS BLOG HERE.


  2. Yes, I suppose a positive message in the end. I pursued music for many many years and, even though I had some small successes, I was always chasing something and it was depressing not to achieve it. In the end I gave up and actually became happier because there wasn’t something constantly in my face that I wanted and had no power over getting. I suppose that taking that risk to do something I thought would ultimately make me happier, just made me more depressed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you P, for including me in your thoughts on happiness. I didn’t know what to expect at first and it all came together for me at the end. While I do understand the intent of the quote – I believe, I’m still one to pursue my goals and always remain rigidly flexible 🙂 You never know when you might need to adjust the journey for a different destination as Marissa pointed out.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello! Lovely post. I always appreciate your honesty and directness.

    I don’t like the quote either (and never really identified with Thoreau for that matter), but I do agree with what I think is the overall concept: True happiness is a place inside and not something to be pursued or based upon external factors.

    I spent a whole lot of years chasing the right relationship, job, personal goal, etc. in order to be happy. But, the reality was already in the words – I just needed to focus WITHIN and BE happy.

    We may be temporarily put off balance and become sad/frightened/angry – and all the other negatives in life – but those are just external circumstances and emotions that will eventually pass.

    We ultimately only have control over our ability to recognize and embrace the joy within us, for ourselves and to give to others. I think you show that all the time via your posts. Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Twin


  6. I interpret the quote differently than you. To me, it doesn’t imply letting go of the pursuit of happiness. It just reinforces the act of focusing on what is going right in your life, and allowing yourself to be surprised by an unexpected gift. Can’t see the forest for the trees/ a watched pot never boils. If the butterfly is “Prince Charming” and you’re so focused on finding him that day-day joys pass by without notice, you’re cheating yourself out of living in the present. I struggle with this every day, believe me. It’s so hard to not solely focus on the future but all we’re promised is today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kim!
      Unexpected surprises are nice but they don’t always come! True about the watched pot never boiling… I experience that every day at dinner time 😀
      I’m terrified of dying so I’m really enjoying my every minute. The thing is, I need to focus in something. Years ago my goal was to have kids, now I have them. I never cared for having a career or being successful (I just want to publish my book and see how it goes, but nothing big). The only thing I really want now is to have that person near me to share all the love I have to give and think in how we can make each other happy. So simple, yet so difficult!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree. We have to grab all the happy moments we can grab! Nobody else will do it for us! XX

    Liked by 1 person

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