Saturday, March 14, 2009

Adaptation

I signed up to get emails from Obama late last summer. Back then, I read virtually every paragraph of every message. Now I look at the first sentence or so and then delete them. I don't have the heart to unsubscribe (yet). My mother purchased Obama's second book "The Audacity of Hope" for me last November. I made it through about half before getting bored with the dryness and all the talk of America's founding fathers. Last week, I replaced the Obama button I had on my jean jacket with one that says, "I am the Hope of Humanity" (I got it at the Ashland retreat). I've really not paid much attention to what Obama's been doing since he was inaugurated a month and a half ago. I feel that he's doing the best he can and am not too concerned about the details (though the porkiness of the stimulus bill is a cause for concern). Overall, I'm very happy he was elected, but it's fascinating how fast he went from something fresh to same ol', same ol.

About a year ago, I upgraded from a 96 Neon to an 05 Elantra. I felt like King Shit for quite a while, but now it's just my car, nothing overly special. Same thing for the 08 Accord that my wife has. These things speak to how fast we adapt. Even those who win lotteries eventually go back to the level of happiness they had before. Is this good or bad? It's hard to say, but such is life. It's quite possible that we adapt more slowly to losing things than we do to gaining them. I know it took me a great deal of time to get over the loss of my first dog. When a long-term relationship ends, it can take an incredible amount of time for one to gain true acceptance.

In sum, I'd say it's best not to jump to conclusions that you'll be forever happy if you obtain this or that.



It may make you feel that way for a time, but it's not gonna last. Like the best orgasm, it will be over before you know it. Best to enjoy what you have and leave it at that.

7 comments:

Timothy Smith said...

Its also good to remember that even a president has to work with what he has.

You know me Tom, I am very critical of the government including Obama and have been watching his every move. I will say this though:

Disengaging the Feds from marijuana prohibition and his recent statements about breaking up the teachers union shows he is unique. It shows he is capable of not only major policy shifts but also that he is not afraid of some of the most powerful people within his own base.

In a lot of cases he is business as usual but in some cases he is a breath of fresh air I have not seen a president display in my lifetime.

Rocketstar said...

Happiness comes from within. Things don't bering true happiness as you state.

Thomas said...

Tim, those really are incredible moves for a President to be making. Since I don't follow the news as closely as you, I was only just made aware of them by watching Bill Maher's show.

Rocket, I wish more people thought as you did. It's also said that the kingdom of heaven lies within. :P

Randy said...

Interesting comments on Obama. I appreciate your honesty.

Brian said...

I feel the same. Unless one goes through a life-changing experience, added happiness from material things or indirect influences are temporary.

Right now, we're purchasing our very first house. It's the most exciting thing I could remember in years. I'm hoping we feel pride and happiness for years to come, but I do feel the same as you do with cars and other material items.

It's more difficult to see how we're directly being affected by Obama's administration. It feels more of an outside type influence. Politicians are politicians though. I'm satisfied with him overall, but like you don't care about the details and delete the e-mails. The podcasts no longer interest me either.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

I've done the same thing with the Obama e-mails. Usually, I know what the Comm. Director, Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, etc. will say based on the subject heading. I guess I've been a little geeky on keeping abreast with current events.

Relationships are the most important aspect to my happiness. I'm being completely genuine when saying very few and emphasize very few material possessions attract my ire. Money is great to have for taking trips overseas and absorbing different cultural lifestyles. I'm planning to set aside next year my first opportunity to travel abroad. This would be important to learn what positives and negatives other countries' societies compare to ours.

Timothy Smith said...

I would highly recommend Japan but its very pricey, especially now.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Bulgaria. Very inexpensive and very different. I had a great time, more so than Germany which was unexpected.