Like a previous article of mine,’ God? You Joking’, this is another thought of mine that I am going to develop into this article so I can share it with you! I would like to begin by asking you a simple question. ‘Why does man do what he does? Be it working for 20 hours a day or calling up a friend to have a silly prate, be it taking a trip to Las Vegas or dropping one’s child at school, be it flirting with a girl or later marrying her. What is the ultimate aim of man in all these activities that drive him into performing them? What is he searching for for which he is doing everything he does in his life? The answer is pretty simple. Take a minute to answer it before proceeding further. Give it a try!
Got it? Yes, it is indeed happiness. If not happiness, then it has to be to avoid sadness which is more or less the same. Think about all the activities that you do, simple or complicated, serious or paltry. You do everything and anything in your life with a selfish objective to gain happiness, though you don’t normally find a reason to acknowledge it. Mother Teresa served the people because she felt it was noble and took pride in it. What was she getting out of it? Happiness. Happy that she was doing a very noble work. This way, man since ages, had been in a pursuit of happiness continuously working for it.
Since the Indus valley civilization, or even before it, man had been incessantly developing his surroundings and his insatiated hunger for happiness led him into creating new surroundings (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) while he is not able to take care of the surroundings he had been bestowed upon by the nature. I am neither condemning this for the wrath that it spawned nor am I commending it for its success. I am stating a set of facts that would conjure up to give us an angle of thinking that had been for reasons unknown to me, unused while judging things our world had been witnessing since time unknown.
Proceeding further, man started with developing a wheel and has built a sports car, from inventing a paper to making E-book readers, from postal system to phones and E-mails, all this in pursuit of happiness. But now I ask you a question that had been asked times uncountable. And the answer you are going to give this time will be in different terms, taking into consideration all that I have expounded above. “Where have we got?” Yes. Where have we got in this pursuit of happiness? How happier are we than we were a couple of thousand years ago? If we are happier, then all the frantic mayhem we were in is worth. But if we aren’t, then we can’t be termed any better than fools. Self-made fools who used their own gifts of intelligence and physical acumen to be so.
Because if we retrospect, we find we are not happier. We are the same since thousands of years. The sadness and happiness in people had been the same all the time in spite of man’s ceaseless efforts to augment happiness. Only the quality of things that make us happy or sad increased. People of olden times used to be sad due to things like decease, death, etc. And now, people are sad if they lose their job (which is equal to what people used to feel about death in previous times). With larger picture of the world in mind, since we didn’t move anywhere in all these years, man’s search for happiness had always been an abject futility.
While this is one thing that history shows that is obvious, another thing is that whenever development happened, something had been lost or someone had suffered, more the development, more the repulsion. When industrialization took place in England, people were deprived of their jobs and that led to suicides. When modern production processes came into use in factories, many small industries perished. This way, when a new thing is given importance, the importance is drawn from the previous survivors. Laughs were and are always accreted with wails.
I mention this because the developments that await us are ridiculously huge and we are, I feel, obligated to question ourselves their denouements and their worth. Gadgets like google glass are going to take over us in time not long. We are talking about plans like implanting micro-chips in the brains as soon as a baby is born in order to provide our brains with telepathic powers of communication. With such developments (as we call them) in line, the assured collateral damage will be huge but on the other side, as history shows, we won’t be any happier than we are now. If at all anything, we will be sadder.
Through this article, I do not intend to imply anything nor do I want to wine over the expected turn the events in future are going to take. I ask, with the knowledge that these developments are inevitable, if they are worth having if the amount of happiness and sadness in the world are going to be same like they always were in our past that scales in thousands of years. My only aim is to say that this is a point of view to look through and it deserves our attention however small. Just muse over it for some time!