Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bliss vs the American Dream

There’s a great piece in Psychology Today raising serious questions about the American pursuit of happiness and the American dream. No news there. But consider this.

Only in America,

…does family time largely exclude non-family members.
…do we turn down social invitations in order to spend quality time with our kids.
…do parents not have a social life that excludes their kids.
…do we expect that having children is going to bring us a lifetime of bliss.
…do we expect that working more, so we can have the perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, will make our family perfect and happy.

Well guess what? All of that doesn’t seem to make us happier. Suggestions, anyone?


…you can have dinner with your kids and an adult friend.
… you can attend the theater instead of the 9-year-old’s party.
… you can socialize with your colleagues or girl/guy friends.
… you can bliss with your kids, and yes, you must also find your bliss elsewhere.
… you can be happy with just what you need, without having to work endlessly to get the best.

Expecting that all bliss will come from this one pursuit--2.3 children, house, white picket fence, Spot, Puff--is a losing battle. Seeking your bliss from many sources--work, family, friends, hobbies--is more likely to yield happiness and will be a heck of a lot more fun.
American Pie, Don McLean

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