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The Pursuit of Happiness

Alex's pictures always make me so very happy!!

By Alexandra

Happiness is a fundamental, natural right of all people, regardless of one’s conception of law or spiritual bent. Its pursuit should not be taken away, curtailed, or otherwise violated by any person or any government. If it is, it must be fought for with the same vigor as one would fight for life and liberty. Sadly, though predictably, we must all be vigilant as there are many who take and have taken away these rights. Some speak of doing so as if to speak of ridding a pest.

These are not American concepts, though they are described in our U.S. Declaration of Independence and protected by the U.S. Constitution. The importance of these documents is not that they created a new country in the form of the United States; rather, it is for recognition that we, all of us on Earth, are born with these natural rights. Of course, the genesis of this conceptualization came from the minds of white men, so there was much work to be done as the union perfected itself, a process that continues to this day. As a white man I know quite well my advantages, even if I don a frock now and then.

From this lofty perch where I like to dwell, I occasionally fly down into the scrum of reality to ponder my lot, my specific circumstance.

Happiness to me is stability. Predictability. Serenity. The knowledge that within and around the chaos of the cosmos is an orderly pocket of comfort, warmth, friendship, and goodness. My wife, my dog, my house, my family and friends collectively sustain my happiness. Together, these serve as an anchor manifest as a home, a firm connection allowing one to deal with the maelstrom of an agnostic society navigating an indifferent universe.

We do well, but we are not wealthy in terms of money. We are wealthy in all other ways one can measure fortune. I am very, very lucky.

I hope you are all happy. If you are not, pursue it with ferocity. For those who suffer from depression and debilitating anxiety, I empathize but cannot understand the pain enough to offer much in the way of useful advice beyond seeking help. I cannot imagine how unfair it is that a relatively simple chemical can interfere with the wonder of living.

In an especially reflective mode these afternoon, I leave you with this mugshot. Pardon the W.C. Fields nose. Hopefully, it did not scare you off. If the nose didn’t, maybe the prose did 😀

  • Dress: DKNY
  • Bolero: Connected
  • Shoes: Bandolino
  • Hosiery: Wolford

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11 Responses

  1. Alexandra,
    If we all lived in isolation we wouldn’t have the same perception of these feelings , whether happiness or sadness , well being or depression . The society we live in imposes feelings in each other , so it begs the question why can society be so cruel and callous with each other ? Or should we ask do we need a balance , is it possible to be happy all the time or would we lose the concept ? Why do we watch sad , depressing and cruel films or TV shows ? I often wonder why in my thirty years of being a self employed photographer why do the awkward , difficult clients stick in my mind whereas the majority of happy , satisfied ones have drifted away . Why do certain actions and words that have possibly upset others play on my mind while good deeds don’t ?
    On balance I would say most of my life was unhappy , possibly through my transgender issues , so was I a bad person because I might have made others unhappy ? The problem is we don’t always see ourselves as others do , I tried to be happy , I have a great sense of humour , was it enough ? I hope so .
    Even so late in the day I’m so glad I’ve finally found me , even if some think it’s a selfish act , I’m now happy and try hard to share those feelings with others . Sadly not everyone has been able to find themselves and experience true happiness , I’m afraid we have to accept it isn’t a perfect World and never will be .

    1. You are quite right, Teresa. The pursuit of happiness is not always possible, either for obvious reasons (a government preventing or limiting the pursuit) or less obvious reasons (depression). It is always important for me to remember this. Happiness is worth pursuing, but it may not be easy and take a long time. I am so very lucky I found happiness, and I am cognizant that it can be taken from me at any time.

  2. Dearest Alexandra,

    Your prose is elegant and the sentiments you express in your piece are close to my own heart. In talking to my wife, whom you have met, I often say that boring is good; tranquil is good. You use the splendid word, predictability, and this is something many strive for and not all acquire.

    A wonderful, insightful essay and a pleasure to read.

    I hope we will get to meet you again at Keystone 2023………..Lisa.

  3. Alexandra,
    Your sentiment “Happiness to me is stability. Predictability. Serenity.” is shared by countless others because there is truth in the Chinese curse that states – “May You Live in Interesting Times”.

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