I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this one, or what I was supposed to get out of this. On one hand, I can attest to all the games that on some level they work. On the other hand, this almost feels fraudulent. There are somethings here that are assumed to be default which I fundamentally disagree with. No soccer team goes into the game with trying to avoid losing, they go in to win. There is a world of difference in between these two things. I’m going to expose some of my thinking here. The first line in the text that is not a quotation is as follows
“Recent research has shown that people experiencing high levels of gratitude tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives”.
First and foremost, the topic in question here is happiness. Apparently, I don’t have it, and apparently these people have the answers for me. This is playing the soccer game trying to avoid losing as oppose to trying to win. Happiness is by definition incredibly personal, it begins and ends with you. No one is coming down from the sky to hand it to you. Furthermore, it’s not for sale, regardless of what research studies might tell you. There is a capitalistic dynamic a play here. You might not have the skills necessary to win the soccer game, but you will never figure out what skills you actually do or don’t have if you default on a mysterious lack of skill. This puts you in a position in which you will never know your current capabilities. In this position, you default on the notion that you are missing some vague idea of “happiness”, your playing has already been compromised. Some things just require that we slam our heads against the wall to find them. If you assume your controlled variables are ruined and then proceed to alter them for compensation, you run the risk of actually ruining them. There are a few other points that I want to highlight but organizing all these thoughts is going to obliterate my time limit. One, although listing all things I love about being alive was incredibly fun for me, asking the question in and of itself assumes unbelievable amounts of inherent sadness. That’s not healthy. Two, in the section of chapter titled “The People”, the author implies cycles of life. Time is not cyclical; all evidence points to it being linear; it’s simply that some humans have not learned from their mistakes. Time being cyclical is also very beneficial for capitalism. This may sound cynical but it’s actually liberating. With all that being said I’m all for gratitude, appreciate the environment around you, it’s fun. Go out and play.