Why can't we just be happy?

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AuthorTopic: Why can't we just be happy?
Lifecrafter
Member # 4682
Profile #0
I've been noticing how unhappy all the people around me seem to be(both strangers and people I know). I see so many people walking down the street or driving their cars and just glowering. And then in my school when I listen to people's conversations most of them are insulting each other or an absent third party.
So my question is, why can't people be nice to each other? At the very least we could smile at someone we pass on the street. And I wish people could be nice to each other, even if they don't like each other.
I know there's not really an answer to the question "Why can't people be nice and get along" and asking isn't going to change anything, but watching the world like this makes me sad and I don't know what I can do to try and change it.

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Posts: 834 | Registered: Thursday, July 8 2004 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #1
quote:
Someone else's story:
The Law of the Garbage Truck

Life is ten percent what you make it and
ninety percent how you take it!One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call,

'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile , wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....

I hope this helps, Nico. :)

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #2
The economy is in recession. People are having money problems and are stressed.

Politically, even if you like all three candidates, you tend to only hear bad things about each of them. The future seems gloomy whether or not it really is.

Students in school probably have a lot of projects coming up soon, I have two in the next two days myself, it's that time of year.

It's also a good long time until the next holiday with vacation time attached to it.

Anything I missed?

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #3
I think we tend to notice more things that match our own mood. For example, I notice rude drivers much more when I am in a hurry, or already angry about something else. I notice coworker's laziness much more when I am falling behind on my own assignment, etc. So if people seem to be in a bad mood, it might be that your own mood makes it more likely that you'll notice those people, as opposed to people who smile and say 'hi' as they pass you on the street. (This of course assumes that there is no special reason for everybody around you to suddently get nervous. So I am assuming there was no recent high-profile crime in the neighborhood, or some other disaster.)

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Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #4
As Douglas Adams pointed out the last guy that tried to get people to be nice to each other got nailed to a tree. :)
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 4682
Profile #5
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

I think we tend to notice more things that match our own mood. For example, I notice rude drivers much more when I am in a hurry, or already angry about something else. I notice coworker's laziness much more when I am falling behind on my own assignment, etc. So if people seem to be in a bad mood, it might be that your own mood makes it more likely that you'll notice those people, as opposed to people who smile and say 'hi' as they pass you on the street. (This of course assumes that there is no special reason for everybody around you to suddently get nervous. So I am assuming there was no recent high-profile crime in the neighborhood, or some other disaster.)
I usually just ignore other people in my day to day life, but in the past few weeks I've been trying to be more aware of my surroundings. I think people could be so much happier than they seem right now. A psychiatrist told me about a year ago that most people in the world are suffering from depression. I think that if people were friendlier and less wary of each other, everyone would be just a bit happier, because maybe someone smiled at them when they felt they looked awful or someone made them laugh when they were having a bad day.

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Do not underestimate the power of the mechanical pencil.

Join the Dark side. We have cookies.

"Hey, Patrick, feel this random pipe. It's squishy"-Nils
Posts: 834 | Registered: Thursday, July 8 2004 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4784
Profile Homepage #6
I could tell you why I think so many people in the world are unhappy but stating what the Bible has to say about it would only turn this thread into a very one sided religious flame war.

Besides, adding demons into a scenario almost never works out well.

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Posts: 563 | Registered: Tuesday, July 27 2004 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #7
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

As Douglas Adams pointed out the last guy that tried to get people to be nice to each other got nailed to a tree. :)
"Ay! what 'mong men as knowledge doth obtain!
Who on the child its true name dares bestow?
The few who somewhat of these things have known,
Who their full hearts unguardedly reveal'd,
Nor thoughts, nor feelings, from the mob conceal'd,
Have died on crosses, or in flames been thrown!"
-- Goethe, Faust

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 27
Profile #8
quote:
And then in my school when I listen to people's conversations most of them are insulting each other or an absent third party.
Many people are insecure about themselves, but it's worse at right about your age where most start to become self-conscious. They pick on each other because they're afraid of each other.

EDIT:
quote:
I know there's not really an answer to the question "Why can't people be nice and get along" and asking isn't going to change anything, but watching the world like this makes me sad and I don't know what I can do to try and change it.
You can't make anyone else change but you can monitor your own behavior. It helps if you can identify where your feelings are coming from.

[ Wednesday, March 26, 2008 18:57: Message edited by: Enraged Slith ]

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Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #9
And then there's people that categorize by age, and that always irks Nalyd. And those people that make snide, hinting remarks. Gotta hate them. :P

[ Wednesday, March 26, 2008 18:59: Message edited by: The Demon Prophet ]

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Fear us, mortals, but never envy, for though we burn with power, our fuel is our sorrows.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2123
Profile #10
To know is someone is unhappy you first need to know what happy is for that person.

In my life, true happiness comes from living a certain lifestyle. I know this because I have lived contrary to that lifestyle also and found only a hollow happiness.

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"The President finally had what he wanted. The President had a planet. All to himself." -A Planet For The President
Posts: 228 | Registered: Monday, October 21 2002 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #11
When we lived in a rundown trailer park I was very happy, and when I lived down in Mexico, well they're quite happy too just working the farms. My grandparents are missionaries in Papua New Guinea, and the native tribes there are awfully happy. They simply cut down some trees, and there's a house, and if they're hungry, well there's more trees, and money, they just barter. However, my main opinion: I'll be like Jewelz and shut up. :P

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Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #12
It's more interesting to hate things than to like them.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #13
Good to know that at least I'm living in interesting times, then.

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #14
To be honest, I don't see a lot to be happy about (except that I got some good marks froma teacher that I swear used to hate me and I have a nice solo in the next concert I'll be giving with my orchestra). Just look at this world: it's getting more polluted all the time, people bomb eah other because of religion, the financial world seems to be panicking because of what happened in America, more and more youngsters have sleeping problems and get adicted to drugs/alcohol (heh, Holland is the worst of Europe in that respect). Really, there isn't much in this world we can be happy about, and to be honest, I personally get the urge to hit strangers that start smiling at me on the street. i want to be left alone usually, think about stuff. Maybe I seem unhappy, and so do all those people, but they mich just be thinking about stuff. My father sometimes looks quite angry when he is thinking about stuff, while in fact he isn't angry at all, so...

My advice: just don't care to much about what all these starngers' mood is. It'll only make you unhappy.

[/vent]

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Skip to My Lou
Member # 40
Profile Homepage #15
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

It's more interesting to hate things than to like them.
I would disagree, but I'm not sure I've ever actually really hated anything in my life. I've disliked things with great intensity on occasion, but I'm just not a hater. And I can say that I find liking things to be more interesting than disliking them. Especially passionately liking things, reveling in their every detail, enjoyment helping keep you fascinated in it's every new twist and turn.

:D :D :D YAY4HAPPINESS! :D :D :D

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Posts: 1629 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #16
Also, Fahrenheit 451.

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #17
quote:
Originally written by Nicothodes:

... I think that if people were friendlier and less wary of each other, everyone would be just a bit happier, because maybe someone smiled at them when they felt they looked awful or someone made them laugh when they were having a bad day.
The only way you can change the world is by changing yourself first. Just try being that someone you are talking about and you might notice more happiness around you. (Not much more, but enough to notice.) (And I know that it's far easier to give this kind of advice than to follow it.)

quote:
Originally written by Thralni:

To be honest, I don't see a lot to be happy about (except that I got some good marks froma teacher that I swear used to hate me and I have a nice solo in the next concert I'll be giving with my orchestra). Just look at this world: it's getting more polluted all the time,
but people care more about polution than they did 50 years ago. (The idea of "conquering nature" no longer looks as positive as it did.)

quote:
people bomb eah other because of religion,
And this is now considered a bad thing by most of the world. (As opposed to most times in the past when killing and/or selling to slavery entire population of a conquered city was acceptable practice, and religion was a good reason to start wars.)

quote:
the financial world seems to be panicking because of what happened in America,
which happens every 5-10 years, as part of a normal business cycle. Even centrally planned economies like USSR have their versions of business cycles.

quote:
more and more youngsters have sleeping problems and get adicted to drugs/alcohol
but these problems are less widespread than they were in the 60s, and that generation grew up fine.

So you can find positive (or at least non-negative) side in most things, if you look for it.

[ Thursday, March 27, 2008 08:32: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #18
Zeviz: Ah, good. I think I'll be able to sleep a lot better now. The problem, though, is that I don't seem to care too much about times when slavery was normal and all that: I care more about how things are now. Saying stuff was a lot worse then, seems somehow a bit stupid to me. Don't take this personally, please, but if the world is worse than it was in past times, it would be all the more depressing than it is now, no?

In other words, let me be depressed for no reason, okay? Sometimes I want that. I need it sometimes to get crap out of my system. You can see it as a business cycle, ya know.

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #19
Life is hard, and many things are bad. Maybe being happy is simply inappropriate. On the whole I'd rather accomplish something in life, something whose value won't change with my own mood, instead of merely enjoying my own endorphins. Gunk in a Petrie dish can do that sort of thing.

That having been said, a certain basic level of happiness is in fact an almost essential requirement for accomplishing anything meaningful. Depression lowers productivity. So, the best goal is some sort of balance. Not necessarily a steady one; a business cycle is probably a good idea.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #20
I've noticed that smiling at random people on the street helps a lot. I don't know if it helps them, but I end up being happier. :)

(There, did it again.)

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #21
Nico, it could be that, as you're getting older, your perspective on things is changing. That's a part of mentally and emotionally growing more mature. It could be that you're more aware of what's going on around you, and so you're just seeing a lot more of what was already present.

Plus there's the fact that a lot of people of your age group (correct me if I'm wrong… high school, right?) are so busy trying to be like everyone else, they forget to be themselves, resulting in a lot of internal conflict. Problem is, many people never quite grow out of that.

However, I don't think it's even arguable that the human race in general is changing. Set morals, ethics, and even laws have been opened up for a lot more interpretation, so certain things that were unacceptable, say, 50 years ago, are now not only accepted, but supported and catered to. As a result, social norms have changed drastically (take the divorce rate, for instance). I think that we can all agree that no matter what a change is, it's almost always at least a bit stressful, and stress causes angst… you get the idea.

My parents always tell me that a person's attitude is their decision. I haven't quite figured that whole thing out yet (so I'm probably one of the angry, pessimistic people you're talking about), but it's a nice thought anyway.

Past all that, it's probably best not to impose my conflicted and uncertain thoughts and beliefs on everyone here.

[ Thursday, March 27, 2008 13:08: Message edited by: Nemesis. ]

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Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #22
Bah, human mores change in a wider cycle that we can usually witness as individuals, but that doesn't mean anything. Victorian era = European prudeness, but that was a reaction to a previous era where sexuality was a lot more open and honest. If anything, the swing of the pendulum is shorter, but it still swings. I would hesitate to say that this type of change is what drives the unhappiness. Historically, this stuff happens when an underclass becomes aware of their situation, and begins to openly resent their betters. This filters into media and overall society, until the massive upwelling occurs things "change."

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #23
quote:
Problem is, many people never quite grow out of that.
Does anyone? I would like to count myself as an individualist, but the urge to fit in is strong in me as well.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #24
quote:
Originally written by Arancaytar:

quote:
Problem is, many people never quite grow out of that.
Does anyone? I would like to count myself as an individualist, but the urge to fit in is strong in me as well.

Yeah, but your urge, maybe better put as "be accepted" is not to copy various aspects of your surrounding community of people and wear them as various guises. In high school, at least in Oregon, a person has a real struggle to be accepted as who they are unless they allow part of themselves to be more like that group of which they are trying to be part. Whether that is adopting an attitude, or a speech mannerism, or physical appearance, it is a change affected to gain acceptance. Unfortunately, our society is one of exclusion, rather than inclusion, and this trickles down to the high school level and below, as young people emulate the powerful and successful adults they see on the screen or in print media. At some point, the guise can take over, and leave friends wondering what happened to a friendship. Just look at the kids you hung with in 3rd grade, and see how close or distant you are in 11th.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00

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