Thursday, June 21, 2012

Little Lennon (updated)

I'll bet his teachers were very gracious about being told that from a Liverpool working-class 7-year-old.


A said:

I don't believe that he actually said that anyway.
It's not a very good approach to life. In my grandparents' time, which is the generation that endured the Great Depression and WW2, there was the emphasis on what you had to do in life - getting a job, etc., etc. If you could be happy too, great - but it wasn't the focus. This focus on personal happiness as the ultimate goal in life is what's produced today's spoiled, self-centered bratty kids.

A2 said...
Our parents generation was never interested in keeping up standards. They wanted to be happy, but the last way to be happy is to make it your objective in life.

Those are very fair points.
How do you become Happy? The search for happiness will usually lead you to search outside yourself, where you won't find it.

On the other hand, the idea that "all that matters is that you're happy" may help to defuse a lot of false goals in life.
For example, somebody living a life on small means but doing something they really care about may be happy, but their parents may see it as terrible situation not to have Status and Security, and pressure them to become a doctor or lawyer. (Bruce Springsteen tells that his parents were still pressuring him to go to college well after he was a multi-millionaire.)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that he actually said that anyway.

It's not a very good approach to life anyway. In my grandparents' time, which is the generation that endured the Great Depression and WW2, there was the emphasis on what you had to do in life - getting a job, etc., etc. If you could be happy too, great - but it wasn't the focus. This focus on personal happiness as the ultimate goal in life is what's produced today's spoiled, self-centered bratty kids.

Again, I don't believe Lennon actually said that anyway. I can believe he wrote what he wrote but he wouldn't have said that nonsense about how they didn't understand life.

Anonymous said...

Our parents generation was never interested in keeping up standards. They wanted to be happy, but the last way to be happy is to make it your objective in life.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Those are very fair points.
How do you become Happy? The search for happiness will usually lead you to search outside yourself, where you won't find it.

On the other hand, the idea that "all that matters is that you're happy" may defuse a lot of false goals in life. For example, somebody living a life on small means but doing something they really care about may be happy, but their parents may see it as terrible situation not to have Status and Security, and pressure them to become a doctor or lawyer. (Bruce Springsteen tells that his parents were still pressuring him to go to college well after he was a multi-millionaire.)

John F. said...

Thing is, living that small life that makes you happy might not be what's best for you or if you have one your family. Putting your own happiness before anything else, including security and status, is incredibly selfish and shortsighted.

Springsteen lucked out, after all. He has talent but a lot of talented people don't make it. He could have ended up tending bar which at his age would be pretty sad - and there'd be no end in sight (no pension).

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

That's a good point, only I guess I was assuming a basic responsibility.

Of course if we mix Ethics into this, it gets *way* more complex. I guess many people living a criminal life of some kind consider themselves quite happy. If so, by the way, I think they'll be hard to change!

"How I became free in an unfree world" is an interesting treatise on one approach in dealing with the pressures of the world.

Dave Nielsen said...

I guess many people living a criminal life of some kind consider themselves quite happy. If so, by the way, I think they'll be hard to change!

Although it's fiction Tony Soprano wasn't exactly happy.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Right. It may be the linch pin of the series in fact, which made it really interesting: that he was, under that very thick skin of his, slowly waking up to the fact that what he was and was doing, was not right. The need for therapy indicated it, as well as the episode where he went against his impulse to kill/hurt somebody, and where he got so happy about it that he got fall-down drunk.
But clearly this happened deep down and didn't surface often, he will probably stay a thug for the rest of this lifetime.

BaronessBlack said...

Interestingly, I have a family member who gets very stressed out by having too much money. He's always running away from successful businesses. He starts doing something very basic (organic gardening/keeping bees/breeding quails/etc.), but he loves doing it and puts his heart into it, so things expand very quickly. Before he knows it, he has to start accepting money from people for goods, and employing people - which stresses him out. So he sells up, and the whole thing starts again!

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Hah! That's wonderful.

He should be able to solve it. For example, with my web business, I have chosen to *not* get employees and not to expand it more than I can easily handle, a couple hours work per day.