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Pursuit of Happiness or Satisfaction?


By Joe Novak

So which would you rather be; happy or satisfied? As American’s we have the right to “the pursuit of happiness” however happiness is not guaranteed. Do we also have “the right to pursue” satisfaction? One could claim that Happiness and satisfaction is only a matter of semantics; or lexical semantic (study of word meanings and relationships) and that if you are “happy” than you must be satisfied; using deductive reasoning or logic to come to that conclusion.

When the “Rolling Stones” a British rock band released their song; “Can’t get no satisfaction”, did they unwittingly create their happiness since that recording netted them millions? Did the money and fame make them happy and did they end up satisfied with their situation? Do you see where I am headed with this?

Satisfaction is a personal feeling while Happiness is normally shared with others; does this mean we can’t be happy if we are not interacting with others? Are we predisposed to interact with others? There is no population growth without interaction; will the birth rate plummet or explode after “isolation”; only time will tell; should be interesting!

I feel for those who have always counted on someone else to make them happy since these days of isolation can get you down. I wonder if the different governing bodies consider the toll this isolation is taking on mankind. Putting the economic disaster aside, are the divorces, suicides and other tragedies counted among the casualties of lockdown? Stress is the leading cause of stroke and lockdown can be very stressful. In 2017 there were 2,813.503 death from all causes reported in the United States; it will be interesting to see what the toll is in 2020 and how the death from different causes varied from 2017 through 2020. 

My wife blames my migraines on stress and I can’t figure out why she thinks I am stressed? I enjoy my retirement immensely and do pretty much what I want every day, working on small projects that I also enjoy; a sense of accomplishment does make me happy especially if I am satisfied with the results.  

Life is going to be very different from what it was just three months ago and it will remain different for quite some time. There is a segment of the population that will be willing to return to sporting events, theaters and night life but I believe a large segment will be extremely cautious and rightfully so. Once a viable vaccine is developed things will speed to “normalcy”!

There is one thing that I hope does not return to what it was 3 months ago; outsourcing our critical medical supplies off shore. Can we really be that short sighted again? American’s suffer from sort term memory loss; less than 10 years after 9/11 we elected several people to Congress who hate our way of life; all came to this country “Seeking” a better way of life. Now that they are in Congress they want to change that way of life to mirror where they came from.

Copyright © Joe Novak 5/18/2020


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