Futile Persuit of Happiness

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Taking the Live out of Alive
What if you never had to get upset to the point of heartbreak or angry to the point of tears again? Sounds great so far. Well, what about if you never got excited to the point of butterflies? In Jon Gertner’s essay, “The Futile Pursuit Of Happiness,” Gertner explores Daniel Gilbert’s study of behavioral prediction and how the amount of pleasure or disappointment people receive from something or some experience does not meet their expectations. Although Daniel studies happiness, and discovers that nothing really makes people as happy or sad as they think it will, he still believes that emotions are part of the human experience. By sharing Gilbert’s information with all humans, people would become indifferent to life and miss out on the passion that comes with being alive.

If you knew that Porshe wouldn’t make you as happy as you thought, would you settle for a Chevy? Telling people that the estimation on their happiness is wrong will make them lose a lot of drive and will power. As humans, we aspire and hope; we dream of bigger and better instead of settling for what we have. It is true that “we might believe that a new BMW will make life perfect,” (Gertner 398) but because we believe that, we push ourselves harder to achieve our goal. This world is a material world, where people believe that things will satisfy their happiness. Gertner says that nothing we purchase “, makes the difference we think” (401) which is true in the sense that materials will not satisfy our deepest need to be love or heal a broken heart over the loss of a family member. But it’s the trying to satisfy our desires that makes us human. We may fall short of what we believe, but if we didn’t shoot for happiness then life would pass by and we would never really get to experience anything that made us feel alive.

Picture this; you are at your mom’s funeral with tears flowing and tissue in hand, and someone comes up to you and says “don’t cry, this doesn’t...
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