Today, I would like to talk to you all this comic strip. This very comic strip has made a lasting impact on my life and how I live it. I’d like to add that I actually do have a hole in my chest. It doesn’t go all the way through of course, that would be ridiculous, but nonetheless, I have a large indentation in my chest which led to a lot of insecurity growing up. I’ll get back to this point further on but for the moment I’d like to talk about the Dude (as I will refer to him from now on) in the last panel and how he is the only truly happy person in this comic strip.
Happiness has become this grand thing that everybody thinks is always just out of reach, just around the corner but really, it’s something that comes from within. We have the potential to live it all the time, as long as we look for it in the right place. I’m not going to turn this post into a rant about evil corporations or anything but it has to be said that these companies want us to think we can buy happiness. Why? Because everybody wants happiness and because if we can be tricked into thinking we can buy it, of course we are going to! It’s not evil per say, it’s just the business of making money. But when that business is based on creating an illusion of happiness coming from material things instead of being an intrinsic part of human nature, it kind of pisses me off.
But, as I said, I’m not here to complain about the ‘bad guys’. I’m here to help you see what I see. At this point I should note that I’m not denying the fact that external things can (and do) make us happy. I’m just saying that this happiness is often short lived as nothing lasts forever. Especially if that happiness comes from having an iPhone (n) when the iPhone (n+1) is surely coming along faster than light!
It seems like everybody is keeping themselves busy (trying to fill the hole) but the thing is, we don’t need to fill it. The Dude is the only truly happy person in the whole comic. Why? Because he isn’t depending on external sources to give him happiness! There’s a child-like innocence to the Dude’s way of thinking and I think we could all benefit from living a little more like him. This is related to my last article about mindfulness as well. The Dude is most definitely living in the moment and being aware of his surroundings.
We all want a purpose in life. We want to feel important, like we’re here for some grandiose reason, like we have a calling in life that we must fulfil. We don’t. Each and every one of us is born the same. We aren’t given directions and a manual on our way out of the womb, we make our own way. That’s the beauty of it. We decide for ourselves. We create meaning by living.
The last point I want to make about the Dude is how he is happy with what he’s got, even if what he’s got is a hole in his chest. I’m happy with the hole in my chest too! I wouldn’t change it because it’s part of what makes me who I am. What we have might be great but as soon as we start comparing what we have to what we don’t have, we immediately think less of what we do have. Why? Because there are infinite things that we don’t have and only a finite number of things that we do. When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we stop worrying. I don’t compare myself to anybody except past and potential versions of myself because it’s absolutely pointless. We are incredibly critical of ourselves and we know ourselves better than we know everybody else. We only see everybody else’s highlight reel but we see all of the out-takes of our own life. How can you make a fair comparison with such little insight? You can’t. So don’t.