Is It Just Me? Are you happy?

Published on Saturday, 26 October 2013 22:15 - Written by By Nelson Clyde isitjustme@tylerpaper.com

In a world constantly proclaiming a desire to be happy you have to wonder how many people really are happy.

What brought this on you may ask. Well, I’m reading a book called the “Happiness Advantage.” The author is a Harvard grad who has made his life work the pursuit of the analysis of happiness.

The world is changing so fast these days you have to wonder where all this analysis and technology is taking us. Will we learn there is a happiness gene? Is it more than a condition that simply comes and goes? Can we learn what will bring true happiness and can it be sustained into a trance-like state? What would it cost? If anything?

Do we expect to be happy too much? How much happiness can one human really take? It’s got to be a little like being tickled. Too much of anything is simply too much.

A recent purchase we made at the company made me happy. We bought a drone and attached a camera to it. The pictures it takes are not what make me so happy as the fact that I had one before a certain friend. He was green with envy. Is such happiness bad? I think not.

“The Happiness Advantage” posits that the neuroscience behind all this suggests the brain will adapt in certain ways to lend a happier subject. We can sort of evolve our way to happiness. I’m gonna have to finish the rest of the book to see how this goes.

You have to wonder how many happiness surveys are done around Christmas time. It would be a good time to do it since many people are so miserable spending money on gifts that are supposed to make other people happy they work themselves into what I like to call the neurosis of Christmas.

A bright young man told me the other day that in Hong Kong restaurants are using drones to deliver food. Does anyone out there know how much is an appropriate tip for a drone? Beats me. Would you have to be concerned if it was paltry and the same drone delivered your next order it might get jostled a bit? Your General Tso’s chicken could be prematurely combined with your shrimp egg foo yung. Ruinous. Another reminder to always tip generously.

It seems more people these days are trying to find their way to happiness by over-nurturing their stomach and being indifferent to their brains. That should make our enemies happy. They won’t have to show up with an army to take over our empire, just a takey-outey box or a pizza box.

Could we tell how happy people are by looking at all their social media profiles and feeding the data into an app that slices and dices every post from the last several years? The prospect for corporate espionage seems vast here. This is why I left Facebook a while back.

I don’t want “spiders” compiling everything about me and ultimately using it against me. If you want to know anything about me you will have to find out over lunch.

As far as being happy goes, for me it’s pretty simple. Get all of the people I love in a kitchen with a pot of spaghetti. It won’t even require a notepad or a battery of questions to figure out what the smile on my face is about.

Have a happy week.