I had a discussion some time ago with my wife about the desired outcome of different lifestyles. These, of course, are as the title of this article implies, the Happiness and the Power through Knowledge. In general, these two lifestyles dominate the modern societies in the developed countries.
We are talking about two types of people in general. The people that they find the world at its best, they love to live and use all the modern achievements of humanity without any worry. They believe that they are on the right path of catching happiness in the near future, if not already there.
The other type of people are not happy, they are far away from happiness. The reason is that they feel that something is wrong and they have a constant need of searching things. The luckiest of them have also the time to search it further.
Of course, you cannot divide whole humanity to just two types of people, I hate generalizations; everyone is different with its own mindset. We will just talk about these two common types of people that we can always meet.
Happiness – The Purpose in Life
I was wondering, what’s the meaning of life. Perhaps the number 42, yes, but in the past, I had concluded that the meaning is to be happy. Because you only live once (YOLO) and this should be your ultimate goal, right? This can translate to anything for anyone. Some they will feel happy having a good family, some others having a successful career, some others having a lot of money etc.
The first type of people usually are not concerned about disturbing thoughts, or if they do they do not allow to affect their lives. Nothing can tremble their happiness although they may acknowledge the world’s injustice. They are happy, this is what matters.
The second type will try to understand the world and the reason behind the society’s current state. Perhaps they will feel happy when they will be able to explain the reason of their unrest. Anyway, for both types of people, the hunt for happiness is still the reason of their lifestyles.
Let’s see now how the outcome Happiness or Power come into our discussion.
A Lot of already happy people usually choose to ignore the rotten society and injustice of the world. Their unawareness of the world’s bad drives them to Happiness. They have reached their goal they have nothing to fear, only to maintain their current situation. They may feel temporarily sad about the world’s problems but that’s it, they can forget it in the very next moment. No need to search it further, take actions or anything but to consume.
The other type of people feels that something is not right. So they are searching were and why humanity took a bad path. Most of them study history, psychology, self-help programs, attend seminars, searching conspiracy theories and they feel bad most of the time. Some of them cannot escape depression. These people are not happy even if they are rich. Consuming may offer a temporary relief from sadness but after a while, the happiness effect wears off.
Apparently financial or social level of the people is not related to the two types that we describe here. A very rich and recognizable person may fall under the second type and a slave in a third world country may be totally content and be the first type.
A usual problem for a worried person is to face and withstand anything ugly he or she may discover by research and study. For example, the knowledge that many terrible things of the past are still happening today, perhaps in a modern form, is something that is not easily digested by anybody. Realizations like that can drive many people to depression. But, overcoming the feeling of these realizations and handling the ugly truth, turn the knowledge into power.
The Demon of Truth
Knowledge is Power they say, but knowledge is also dangerous. One must be ready for knowledge in order to manage it clear headed or else depression waits at the corner. If not ready, must leave it for a later time. The blue and the red pill from Matrix, remember? Neo threw up when he discovered the truth, Cypher betrayed his cause and friends just to return into the Matrix, to the safe place of his Ignorance/Happiness.
The truth is a demon that you must fight. If you win you will have the demon at your service, like a pet. If you lose, the demon will possess your mind and it will drive you crazy. If you are in the worried type, you will face the demon undoubtedly, just be prepared.
It seems that the first type of people are blessed. They are living in the moment, they appreciate the humanity’s achievement they are not miserable and they have reached the ultimate goal of Happiness. These people are enviable. They just go on with their lives, their reality is their world and they will not spare any minute of worrying about the things that they cannot change. Because YOLO.
Power through Knowledge
But… Nothing is perfect, no system is perfect and no lifestyle too. The happy person of the first type has no power because he is unknowledgeable. They cannot predict the future because they don’t know the past. They never cared to learn about it because there was no need to. Just like that, one day they will wake up in their world naked, disoriented, wondering what happened and why, caught by surprise, their “perfect” lifestyle model of YOLO will collapse. Happiness no more! See the example of Horace Tabor and the Silver Crash of 1893.
This can happen to anyone living in a bottle. The people’s lives are determined by those who set the rules and change them at their discretion. At any time your happiness can be devastated by a rule change triggered by just a single person that happens to have a lot of power in his hands and decides that from now on your world will change.
It is just so simple. The change will happen, you can’t do anything to stop that. You can only predict it. And you can only be prepared for this day. This can only happen with knowledge.
Knowledge gives you the power to control your future in harsh times. Knowledge can maintain your current level of happiness because you will be prepared for any condition. And most importantly knowledge of the past will help you avoid the same mistakes in the future. The human history repeats itself because people are making the same mistakes over and over again.
The moment that people will stop reproducing their destructive history is the moment of the real evolution. Unfortunately, this can only happen in a personal level. We are very far away from reaching the next level as humanity.