We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more. — Albert Camus.
Have you ever watched a series of TV commercials where all the scenes and actors are happy with the implied message if you only bought the advertiser’s products you too would be happy. Of course you have. But as I was watching my team get whomped this Sunday it came to me that there must be a lot of unhappy people out there for this form of advertising to work, and if one watches the news on any given day we know that unhappiness is a large part of our lives.
We are not the only generation or decade of unhappiness. Camus wrote the above during the difficult times around World War II. Maria Popova reminded me of the words of Bertrand Russell after the war:
“We shall try to say no single word which should appeal to one group rather than to another. All, equally, are in peril, and, if the peril is understood, there is hope that they may collectively avert it.
We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps.
There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.”
Must we alway win? This old football player asked yesterday. Do we sacrifice happiness for the thrill of victory, and is it worth it?