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Monday, September 1, 2014

On Happiness



I just found this little snippet in the book A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. This excerpt from an essay (printed in an unknown newspaper, according to Nasar's footnotes) by educator, Angelo Patri was discovered in a scrapbook Virginia Nash (mother to mathematical genius, John Nash) kept for her children.
Queer little twists and quirks go into the making of an individual. To suppress them all and follow clock and calendar and creed until the individual is lost in the neutral gray of the host is to be less than true to our inheritance ... Life, that gorgeous quality of life, is not accomplished by following another man's rules. It is true we have the same hungers and same thirsts, but they are for different things and in different ways and in different seasons ... Lay down your own day, follow it to its noon, your own noon, or you will sit in an outer hall listening to the chimes but never reaching high enough to strike your own.
One of the most tragic things I can think of is that some people live their entire lives and never experience who they truly are. They are busy keeping up appearances, worrying what others will think of them, and attempting to achieve goals that others have set for them. Really the only way to guarantee that you leave a first-hand mark on this world is to march to the beat of your own drum (to borrow a cliche) or better yet, to stop marching altogether and do your own thang. I believe that a person can only experience pure happiness, when she truly experiences what it feels like to be her and no one else.