“Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.”
I am afflicted with the dreaded writer’s block. I have been thinking on today’s quotation for hours and hours and I can’t piece something together. I hoped that re-reading the card I wrote would help me, but my phone’s photo stream is mysteriously missing and I have no recollection now of what I wrote.
I thought for a while about George Orwell. I know I picked his quote because he is such an amazing and thought provoking writer. I didn’t think this as much when I was 12 years old and was forced to read “Animal Farm” in school. At that age, there was nothing worse than reading a metaphorical characterization of the flawed human condition, supported by the undertones of a flawed political regime. My appreciation for Orwell’s work came as an unexpected surprise, however, when I was begrudgingly expected to read “1984” as part of a University Sci-Fi English course more than 10 years later. How can one man so accurately depict the fear and disgrace of humanity, and do so in such a captivating and artistic medium? In a sickening way, I was intrigued and so I re-read “Animal Farm” for my own interest. I was later motivated to write an essay on the similarities between “Animal Farm” and “Lord of The Flies” for that same Sci-Fi course.
George Orwell, somehow, knew something about life and humanity that many people try not to know. We are dark, and scary, and hungry for something that we can’t (and probably) shouldn’t always have.
So, when I first read this quotation I thought to myself: “Mr. Orwell, what do you propose IS the object of life if it is not to be happy?” I suspect his answer would be just as cold and honest as his popular literary works:
Life is about living and surviving. And unfortunately, living and surviving isn’t always about being happy.
Happiness does not come without a price…
And so today, when I can think of nothing else to write, I will postulate that George Orwell had nothing but confidence in the irony of his statement. I should, therefore, stop trying so hard to be happy in my life. Instead, I should concentrate on just making it through each day. Perhaps that in itself will make me happier.