Sure Pigs Are Happy, But I Wouldn't Want To Be One!
By Fred Tutwiler
"It's better to be an unsatisfied human than to be a satisfied pig." - John Stuart Mill, 19th Century philosopher
When Mill made that observation, he was asserting that humans have a unique capacity to experience levels of happiness and pleasure that simply are not available to animals.
Along with that ability to marvel at sunsets, experience the joy of solving a mystery and be moved to tears by great music, we also have the capacity to be unhappy and to experience pain. That world of intellectual and emotional satisfaction is not available to pigs and other animals, and neither is the suffering. Animals don't have the capacity to feel sorry for themselves. Mill suggests that none of us humans, if given the chance, would trade this "marked preference for the superior faculty" with that of a pig, even though the lowly pig is forever immune to much of the pain and suffering of humans.
The ability to experience disappointment and fear, or to be sad and alone, is the price we pay for also having the ability to experience delight and love and beauty. And yet, how often do we long for the absence of that pain? How often do we fret and anguish over the bumps and pitfalls in the road of life?
Too often, people squander precious moments lamenting their hardship or the unfairness of their circumstances. But, does anyone of us really wish they were less human? And yet, we wallow in the "language" of pigs. We deny our supreme greatness. We doubt our ability to prosper and flourish in the face of adversity. We are reduced to nothing more than human swine groveling at the teat of self-pity. How undignified!
Humans are one of the most perfect manifestations in the entire cosmos. There is nothing we can't accomplish! But, alas, are those the conversations we create? Or do we have conversations about what we don't have, or how bad our childhoods were, or how unfair life is? The irony is your conversations create your environment, and you are creating it everyday with your language.
What environment are you creating? When you promote conversations about everything that is wrong in your life, you infect your environment with the language of all the things you don't like. When you speak of not having enough money, or hating your job, or being lonely, then your environment will organize itself around that language. You will find yourself surrounded by people and situations that support those conversations. Trust me, that is NOT what you want!
People around us think of us in terms of the language we use and the conversations we have. This works both ways. If your language is dominated by tales of all the losers who have taken advantage of you, then people around you may very well think you are sad, resigned, angry or sarcastic. Is that what you want? How will any of those people get to know the wonderful magnificent YOU that is buried beneath all of those complaints?
On the other hand, if your language is dominated by kindness, enthusiasm, support for other people, and passion for what you want, THAT is how people will come to think of you. Which do you prefer? Maybe you have been treated badly, or maybe you have been disappointed in relationships. Maybe you do have the right to be upset or skeptical. You just need to understand, if you exercise that right by elaborating on it to the people around you, there will be a cost in terms of how your environment thinks about you.
Despite whatever illusions we may have, happiness is NOT a birthright. Sorry, we're not entitled to be happy. We are entitled to pursue happiness, to create it for ourselves, but nobody owes us a life of happiness. In our pursuit of happiness, we may find ourselves unhappy at times. Get over it. We each, individually, are responsible for whether or not happiness exists in our lives. With our conversations, we create the space for it to show up, or we create the walls that keep it from showing up. Either way, it's our call.
The price of happiness is the conversations we are willing to create around us. Sure, it takes some work, but it's worth it. On the other hand, you could take the easy way out and choose the language of pigs. But, then, you'll just get slop. YUCK!
About the Author
Fred Tutwiler, The Reality Coach has worked with companies, individuals and athletic teams challenging non-productive views of reality. Download Fred's FREE e-book "Why DO We KEEP Doing The Same Thing Over And Over Even When We DON'T LIKE the Result We Get?" .
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