It is said that back in the day, Happiness was a luxury rather than a necessity, as it is today. People used to be happy only occasionally, such as when there was a big celebration in town. The rest of the time, they were worrying and thinking about how not to die.
It was just so easy to die, too. Something as little as a cut, a mosquito bite, food poisoning, or childbirth could kill a person. The world was just too random, complex, and at times just magical to make sense of it. It was 100% deadly, also. People did not live in relative luxury as we do today.
Today, no one is expected to die of hunger, a disease, or to be eaten by a wild animal, at least in the western world. We have technologies that can save human lives and prolong them for years to come if need be. Hell, we can live to our full human potential and more if we would want to. We even have it so good that our luxuries are becoming our problems. Obesity is at its all times high. Plastic is in our oceans, and people die in millions from different drugs overdose.
Progress without evolution
And while our society has evolved, our bodies and brains have not. Technology is said to double every 18 months, while our bodies take millions of years to develop. Irrationally, some of the fears that we had back in the day still hunt for in the modern world. For example, we have a brain part called the amygdala, which stores all the bad memories to protect us from reliving the negative experiences, aka dying. It makes us afraid of riding a bicycle after we felt from it when we were 5 years old or a dog if one scared us when we were 2 years old. It is responsible for many of our modern fears, worries, and anxiety, which does not apply to modern-day life. It makes us look for a saber tooth tiger everywhere we go, so to say.
This made me think of a fun game that I play with myself constantly. Whenever I am going through some hardship, I say to myself: “don’t die, don’t die, don’t die.” This is what my brain says anyway, while in reality, I might have just forgotten my wallet at home. Of course, saying this sounds ridiculous, which is precisely the point, as, on the positive side, it removes the negative energy from any adverse experience I might be going through.
And while we have this inbuilt fear of death, we are also demanding to be happy all the time. Yes, something that started as preference has become a full-blown demand for most of the people. And if we are not satisfied, we are considering that something is wrong with us, society, and we question our whole existence because of it. Hell, some people even commit suicide because they are not happy. How crazy is that?
We often forget that the world is not built to make us happy. We forget that the world can be rather deadly, unpredictable, and, yes, magical. Let’s not dilute ourselves, thinking that we should be happy all the time and that the world owes us anything. Oppositely, let us not be afraid of our shadows and live it up a bit, since most back-old fears are no longer real.