Buddhism: (2 of 4) unhappiness

Unhappiness may be confronted with unhappiness. Really. Get pissed off. Get angry about being so damned unhappy. Sometimes it works for me. I just think, ‘yea, I’m unhappy… but look at the world out there. People are suffering and dying and I could, theoretically, be off my unhappy ass helping them. Not all of them, no, but some. Not necessarily administering vaccines or cooking meals in Sub-Saharan Africa, but in some way I can be doing something to make a difference. And I’m not. Why? Because I’m unhappy. Now that’s just stupid.’ That always gets me, because I like to think of myself as fairly smart, despite any self-deprecation here and there. So realizing, after a bit of thought, that my being unhappy is also my being stupid, I can begin to climb out of if.

Maybe you don’t pride yourself on being smart, but maybe good looking. If so, you could just as well think, ‘yea, I’m unhappy… but look at the world out there…. I’m not. Why? Because I’m unhappy. Now that’s just ugly.’ Which it is. ‘My unhappiness makes me ugly.’ Think about it. Then you have to realize that your ugliness reflects in other people’s faces when they see you: maybe they’re just concerned, or sad, or just don’t want to look at you – but their faces scrunch up and get ugly too. So if you realize that your unhappiness makes you and the world that much uglier, maybe your pride in your looks will snap you out of it.

Be unhappy about unhappiness. Even in others, because we all share this world, and everyone you know can be doing something about the suffering of the world, and the ugliness in it.

  • Mark (old profile)

    I like this post… this kind of thinking really drives me these days.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14246929532585980356 Buddhist_philosopher

    Many thanks for the comment. It was one of those things that came to me during a long drive to see my folks. The sound of old Dennis Leary (http://denislearyfan.com/) skits came to mind, and I imagined him berating unhappiness…Anyhow – always good to hear from you.