I have come to believe that our minds, like completely identical toys in manufacturing toy companies, have engrained in them a particular mindset; an ideal, a default setting of which is impossible to override. “What mindset is this?” you may ask. Well, this mindset is the pursuit; the pursuit of happiness.
From birth, we all cried. The reason for this filial act is so that our airways may be opened up. Regardless of this, we cried because we all craved once more the warmth and comfort of our mothers’ womb. Nonetheless, once we were cuddled up in blankets and warmth given to us, we commenced the next stage of our pursuit of happiness—our mother’s breast.
We sought for this and when we couldn’t get it, we cried and whined. This continued for a couple of years until when we were told that suckling was inappropriate for a child our age. Hence, at around that period, we commenced with our pursuit; this time in a new endeavour; the pursuit of education.
We arrived at school for our first time filled with joy and happiness. We were prepared to receive the highly esteemed ‘alphabet’ and learn how to carry out this amazing, task of ‘multiplication’ and ‘addition’. With time, we came to realize how easy those tasks were and our targets changed; hence we began our next pursuit, the pursuit of acceptance from those around us.
This occurred at just about puberty. We changed our dress code; in a bid to dress in the so-called ‘latest fashion’. We changed our manner of walking, our manner of talking. “You have to be cool, you know?” Moreover, some of us even converted our religious beliefs in order to seem rebellious. This was the façade of a ‘cool teenager’ presented to us by the ‘all-knowing’ media.
However, after getting through that stage, our literal goalposts changed and our new pursuit became the pursuit for love. We begin to feel lonely for somebody to love and care for. Failure to achieve this results to sorrow, isolation and regret. We find that special girl or boy, and having found a compatible match between us two, we decide to set it off—after all, we are in love, right?
After this, we begin the greatest pursuit of all. The leak which sinks many of great ships. The black hole which sucks the morality out of men, turning them into lifeless, inhumane beasts. Savages whose only end is jail and/ or death. The pursuit warned of in all religious standings— the pursuit of money.
The pursuit which causes men to hack others to pieces in order to steal a wallet. The pursuit which causes women to dress in skimpy clothing and auction their bodies to the highest bidders on the street. The pursuit which causes a woman to poison her husband so as to win his inheritance. The pursuit which causes men and women alike to involve themselves in acts of pornography— revealing their innermost secrets to the world. The pursuit which causes men and women to steal new-born babies from the arms of their mothers after a grueling nine months in order to sell them and thus gain money. Verily verily, this is no longer a world of men, but a haven for savages, because these law-breakers go unpunished.”Why?” you may ask. Well, because a lot of money was exchanged for the freedom of these beasts.
However, the worst thing about the pursuit of happiness is the irony embedded in it. The irony that though we search for happiness, we never ABSOLUTELY have it. “Why?” Firstly, while we searched with quite a lot of difficulty for education, we later realized that what we practically use in our lives is only but a scintilla of what we actually learned earlier on. We came to realize that after all that we learned, all the hard work and discipline that had gone into our studies, our fate would be decided within a less than 3-hour examination. Whether you’re bright but get nervous and fail doesn’t matter to anyone in the job market!
After we yearned for acceptance from colleagues and school mates, we learned that fashion, just like worldly fame, is but a breath of wind which blows now this way, and next the other; changing its style as it changed direction. Unable to keep up, we abandoned it and sought for the next ideal in our lives.
Next, we sought for a love that we thought was one all so true but rather unfortunately, for most of us, this love was dashed; scrapped, soon after we realized that it was but only a prima-facie feeling of love. Soon after we met our perfect Romeo or Juliet, we felt an attraction and perhaps even got married. Two years into the marriage and Romeo’s eccentric lifestyle begins to show its ugly face. Your Juliet’s irritating habits begin to show themselves much more and you are unable to stand them any longer.
At first, you attempt to work it out but alas! You both realize how incompatible you are and a break-up occurs—first beginning as a short period apart from each other, then becoming a final split. “Where did you go wrong?” you ask yourselves, but it’s too late.
Our pursuit for the greatest evil, money, ended with us getting it, only to realize that the friends we had gained while making it were fake; realizing that we most probably tarnished our name while building our empire.
Well, it is absolutely crystal clear that after searching with such zeal and ambition for what we truly wanted, we finally get it, only to realize it’s not what we truly need. This then brings us to the age-old question, “What truly do we genuinely require as sons and daughters of the Earth?”