Sunday, May 3, 2009


If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?
- Sheryl Crowe (If It Makes You Happy)

The word pleasure conjures up a cornucopia of delights. It's defined by Mr. Webster as a state of gratification - a source of delight or joy. That's different for all of us. But we all like it. :)

Generally, we get pleasure from things defined by the senses: eating, laughing with friends, love, sex. These (and many other) sources of pleasure are all wonderful things. But too much emphasis on them can create problems, like obesity and addictions.

That's because pleasure is a temporary feeling. We enjoy it when we have it but then it goes away. And if your happiness is defined by pleasure, you feel empty when you're without it. So you go for it again. And around and around it goes. Pleasure. Emptiness. Pleasure. Emptiness. Pleasure. Emptiness. 

We get caught up in a never-ending pursuit of pleasure and spend our life running in circles. Like a dog chasing its tail.

And, because sources of pleasure are not necessarily sources of happiness, we have to keep upping the ante. Like a junkie needing more of a drug. Our hunger grows but we can never be satisfied. Because, as with all things, too much of a good thing is... well, you know.

That doesn't make pleasure bad. It just needs to be put in perspective. Aim for balance. Practice moderation (conveniently defined by your own limits or perpective of what's extreme). It's OK to indulge your pleasures. Just try not to overindulge too often. 

This life offers an all-you-can-eat salad bar of pleasures for you to enjoy. Enjoy what you want. Just remember to see them for what they are. Fleeting moments of satisfaction. 

Happiness is found in the Miracle of the Moment. That's the pleasure of living in the present.

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. (v. 9)

1 comment:

  1. Given the choice between happiness and CONTENTMENT, I choose the latter almost every time.