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CadyBright

HappinessProject
Section2

Happiness+People=Worms

Happinesshasawedandinspiredhumanityforgenerations,tracingbacktoprimordial
timeswheresimplybeingalivewasacauseforhappiness.Throughtheages,humanityhas
evolved,grownstronger,evenmutatedtobettersurviveandeventuallydominatethisplanet,all
inthepursuitofhappiness,andbyextension,power.Thereispowerinhappiness,inmeaning,in
everyotheremotion,wave,andparticleinthisuniverse,andhumanitywantsallofitthetaste
ofpoweronlyleadstothecravingofmore.Someclaimitforknowledgeastheirreason,for
understandingtheplaceandpurposetheyhavewithintheuniverse,butthereisnoreasonatall,
otherthantohaveaneffect.AccordingtotheBBCarticle
Dothedeadoutnumbertheliving
,the
PopulationReferenceBureauestimatesthatabout107billionpeoplehaveeverlivedand
thereare15deadpeopleforeverypersonliving.Andforwhat?Whensomeoneaskswhatthey
wereputherefor,theanswerisnothing.Thereisnothingwecando,nochangewecanmake,no
fightwecanwinagainstthevastnessoftheuniverseandourincomparisoninsignificantlivesto
somehowmakethemworthsomething.No,knowledgeisnotthegoal,buthappinessis.From
themomentanindividualisborn,theyareaddictedtodopamine,aneurotransmitterreleasedasa
responsetopositivestimuli.Apersonsexistenceissofinite,soinsignificantinthefaceofthe
universe,thattheonlymeaningonecouldfindistheeffecttheyhaveontheirfellowhuman,and
thusontheirsociety.Thispowerbecomeshumanitysuniverse,andhappinesstheirmostprized
possessionwithinit.Toobtainhappiness,itmustfirstberecognizedinitsmostpowerfulform
asmeaning,thenbesoughtoutinindividuals,byextensionoftheindividualinsociety.

Humanitysperceptionofmeaningislodgedinthemostbasicinstinctstheypossessas
livingbeingstostayalive.Inanevolutionaryworld,anybeingwouldhavetohaveacertain
skillsettosurviveonthishostileplanet.Primatesfoundsafetyinnumbers,oronamore
Darwinisticlevel,theoneswholivedontheirowndiedatafasterrate.Beingwithotherswas
thendirectlylinkedtothesurvivaloftheindividual,andsurvival,themostbasicofallinstincts,
isclassifiedasagoodthingdopaminedoesnttransmitwhentheindividualisdead.Societyis
thenassociatedwithsurvival,assaid,agoodthing.Thatbeingsaid,iftheindividualwas
unhelpfulordestructivetotheirsocietyinsomeway,theywouldberemovedfromit,andhavea
muchhigherchanceofdeath.Meaningisbythislogic,thevalueofindividualtothesociety,and
ahighlevelofmeaningleadstoalowchanceofdeathbyexpulsion.Securityresultinginthe
knowledgeofhighchancesofsurvivalduetothissocietalbelongingprovidesasteadyreleaseof
dopamineasopposedtotheburstsonereceivesinlieuofcalorieconsumptionorexercise.Over
time,thishasbeenwrittenintohomosapienDNA,tomakethethespeciesmorecooperativeand
compatibleassocialcreatures,tothepointthatsocializationandlearningisnecessaryinthelife
andproductionofasocietallysuccessfulhuman.Becausemeaningissoimportant,peoplemay
seekoutmeaningatthepriceofhappiness,accordingtothearticle
TheresMoretoLifethan
BeingHappy
,suggestingthatsomevaluemeaningandaltruismoverhappinessbecauseitis
morebalancedandemotionallysatisfying.Inpresenttimes,meaningissimplythereleaseof
dopamineduetogeneticinstinctforanindividualtoseekthehighestplaceachievablewithin
societyandthussecuretheirownsurvival.


Theindividualcanconsciouslyseekouthappinessbyappealingtoacombinationofboth
longlastingmeaningandimmediatepleasure.Oneshouldkeepinmindhowever,thatonly40%
ofanindividual'soverallhappinessisimmediatelycontrollable,50%beinggenetic,and10%
beingcircumstancessuchaswealthandhealth.Ofthe40%,Dr.MartinSeligmaninhisTED
Talk,
TheNewEraofPositivePsychology
,statesthatTheonewayinwhich[thehappiest
people]differ[fromthemiserablepeople],healsostates,theyreextremelysocial.Asstated,
societalbelongingleadstoahighersenseofmeaning,whichleadstothemostsatisfactionand
happinessoverall.Tothatlogic,onecouldfindahighersenseofmeaningandhappinessby
seekingsocialconnections.However,intheclassicnovel
BraveNewWorld
,AldousHuxley
createdadystopiainwhicheveryonewassupposedlyhappy,andoneofthemostundesirable
andevenpunishableactsintheirsocietywasbeingalone.Thoughtheotherbizarrecustomsof
thissocietyplayarole,themaindifferencebetweenthemodernconceptofhappinessandwhat
theyvalueisthedepthofsocialconnections,wheretoaproperlyconditionedhuman,long
termrelationships(overthreemonthswithonlyoneperson)areconsideredunhealthy.Asa
socialbeing,connectionswithothersfulfillemotionalneeds,broadenperspectives,andculture
theindividual,makingthemmorevaluabletothesocietyandthusincreasingtheirmeaning.
Asidefromthatentirely,inasocietysuchasthiswherehappinessinanyandeveryformisthe
onlygoal,thevalueofhappiness,likeanythingelseinwhichthereisasurplus,goesdown,even
thoughinteractionandsociallityincreases.Anindividualcannothopetobecompletelyhappyall
thetime,butrathertobalanceandputthehappinessonehasintoperspectivebywayofother
emotions,thusmakinghappinessallthemorevaluable.

Thelinkbetweenthehappinessofthesocietyandtheindividualisakintothatofthe
chickenandtheeggacirclewhichhasnobeginning.InanarticlepublishedintheJournalof
NaturalBiology,Science,andMedicine,authorsSouryaAcharya
and
SamarthShuklaexplain
how,locatedin
multiplepartsofthebrain,
thereiswhatneuroscientistscallthemirrorneuron.
Thesearevisuospatialneuronsthatfireinresponsetotheactionsofanother,thusrecreatingthe
mentalprocessasiftheobservingindividualhaddonetheactionsthemselves.Thisalsolinksto
theprimordialdaysofthehumanspecies,inwhichthestrengthofthesocietyreflectsthe
strengthoftheindividual,sothegroupcantellwhenindividualsarestrongorweak.Becausethe
mirrorneuroncausesemotionssuchasempathy,amalfunctionorlackofmirrorneuronsis
closelylinkedtodisorderssuchasautism.Whenhumansseeotherssuffering,theycannothelp
buttofeelitthemselves.Itisallbutimpossibletofeelcompletelyhappyinanation,orworldfor
thatmatter,whereotherssuffer.AccordingtotheUN,1in9peopleworldwideare
undernourished,causingnearlyhalf(45%)ofdeaths
inchildrenunderfive3.1million
childreneachyear.Foodisincludedwithinthefivepillarstoameaningfullife,asstatedabove.
Totheideaofacirclewithnobeginning,ifthesocietysuffers,thehumansuffers,butifthe
humansuffers,thesocietyalsosuffers.Tomakethenationahappierplace,theissuesfacingit
mustfirstbeaddressedanddealtwithtoensurethecollectivesurvivalandprogressofmankind
asasociety.

Thoughwehaveallbuteradicatedthreatssuchasdiseaseandpredators,humanityis
actuallyweakerbecauseofit.Whatonceletonlythestrongestgenesprevailisnowheldatbay
bygunsandvaccines,seenasprogress,butlikeinBraveNewWorld,
evensciencemustbe

treatedasapossibleenemy.
Thisspecieshasbeensofarremovedfromnaturalitythrough
glorifiedcompetitionandindependence,dominationinsteadofcooperation,thattheworldhas
beensterilizedandbrokendownsothatitmayberunasamachineratherthananbiosphere.
The
humanracehasbecomesoobsessedwithobtainingthishappinessthatitiswillingtopervert
everynaturalthingaboutitselftogetit.Naturethrivesoffofbalance,necessity,andstruggle.If
somethingcantstayalive,itdoesntdeservetolive.Thetreesabsorbonlyasmanynutrientsas
theyneed,animalskillandeatasmuchastheyneed,etc.butbothmaybevictimtodroughtsor
landslides.Parasites,ontheotherhand,multiplyanddestroyfasterthanthehostcanreciprocate,
simplyforthepurposeofmultiplyinganddestroyingsomemore.Theycanwipeoutentire
speciesandwreakhavocuponecosystems,butaremucheasiertokillthansayatree,struck
thricebylightning,thatdespitealloddsstillflowerseveryspring.Parasitesareworms.Worms
aregross.Peopleneedstostopactinglikeworms.Torestoretheworldtoitsformerglory,
humankindmustseekthebalance,thenaturalitysorecklesslyabandonedcenturiesago.They
mustseekthehappinessandthesadness,themeaningandthesatisfactionitgives,the
companionshipandcompetitionitrequires,theknowledgetogrowup,andthestrengthtogoon.
Untilthen,humanityisadisease,andhappinessisnotthecure,butthecause.