Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happiness in pounds

It appears a near irrefutable truth that people are unrelentingly determined to judge each other by any reason they deem necessary. First impressions can be tough, but in some cases, they can also be superficially shallow. In some circles, I’ve had the opportunity to note, happiness is assessed by a person’s weight.

It seems that one is much likelier to present the notion of being happy if they can limit the number of digits to their weight. Being easy on the eyes gives people the idea that one has fewer troubles to deal with. So if one is considered, dare I say… (in a low whisper) obese, it just may be cause for pitchforks. For who could ever imagine that a person who is not skinny, thin, bony, scrawny, slender, trim, lean… wait, where was I going with this? Oh yes, apparently for some, happiness is in the eye of the scale you stand on.

Magazines, TV shows, newspapers ad, televised commercials, and a large number of movies feed and nourish the conception that weight is one of the things that will determine your chances of being happy. Under the belief that they have the right to judge, those who buy this concept are encouraged to scrutinize one another. Being thin means you are nearing the finish line, ever closer to achieving happiness. Being anything other than thin means you are far out of reach of ever being remotely happy. Poor you. Fortunately, if you change and slim and shape yourself into the role of Fitness Barbie or Ken, you may redeem yourself.

It almost never fails to surprise me how consistently people look for things to criticize in others. It’s as if differences are used to stand apart, dividing people into those who believe are superior and the ones they think are inferior. In this case, whether being cautious of one’s weight is a result of popular culture or an obsessive vanity to comply with society’s demands, in the end, it all seems to have an almost frightful effect on human nature. If people are willing to cut each other down because of the span of their waistline, then it appears we are no better than starving vultures circling a desert sky, waiting for our prey to kick up their feet and cry uncle.

It does seem fortunate then that happiness is not in the hands of those interested in selling it. Albert Camus puts it like this: what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads? What harmony is there in a life lead by superficial appearances that cast a shadow of constant insecurity? Why put yourself through such an exhausting and unrewarding practice? Instead of placing your happiness in someone else's hands, and letting them be the judge, why not make the decision yourself? Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be – so Abraham Lincoln said. Will you choose to be happy?

By: V.S

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