In Selfish Pursuit
In selfish pursuit is a story written by Anthony Brandt. It is a story about his personal life and his definitions of happiness. In this text, Brandt argues about the meaning of happiness. He discusses the most common view of happiness: One that is defined by materialistic possessions. The author debates about his interpretation of happiness in a way that deviates from the conventional definition of happiness. “You arrive at a goal and that makes you happy, but then you notice that the happiness is composed half of relief, half of self satisfaction; the latter half makes you distinctly nervous, and you fall to chewing on your achievements, discounting them. This then becomes the spur to more achievements, more happiness, and more guilt” Brandt makes a very pessimistic and depressing statement here. Indeed, he may personally feel that way, but I would argue that point differently. I would argue that when we arrive at a goal, we are satisfied for a moment. However, we have an even greater hunger to achieve that overcomes our satisfaction. Hunger: a hunger for more glory, a hunger to push beyond our current limits, a hunger that fuels our pride and keeps us going. I would never associate nervousness with achievement. Of course, there are those who achieve and stay satisfied. They lose the hunger to keep going. Not everyone can stay hungry for more success, but the author should not associate goals with guilt. “We identified happiness with success and we are stuck with it now...” I completely agree with Brandt on this issue. We have taken a very narrow and uncompromising stance on the issue of happiness. I argue that happiness is an extremely widespread concept. No two people can define happiness in the same way. Defining happiness through materialistic wealth and success may certainly be suitable for some people and reading “Herodotus” and “Plutarch” may be the definition of happiness for others. Still others may define happiness as spending...
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