Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Language of Pigs

John Mills, a 19th century philosopher stated that "It is better to be an unsatisfied human than to be a satisfied pig." He was saying that humans can experience emotions that are just not available to animals.

Humans have the privilege to be dazzled by the beauty of a sunset, have music move them to tears or feel pride and joy that learning a new skill involves. On the flip side, we are also able to feel great pain and sadness. This experience of intellectual and emotional sensation is not available to the majority of other animals and definitely not to the same degree of humans. Yet neither, do they have a concept of suffering. Animals can't feel pity for themselves. Mills is suggesting that if given the option, we as humans would not want to swap lives with that of a pig. Even though the measly pig is immune from the pain and suffering we often have to bear.

We need to remember that the ability to feel fear, disappointment, loneliness or sadness, is only the flip side to being able to experience delight, beauty, happiness or love. Yet we go to great lengths to rid our lives of pain. We stress about the dips and bumps in the roller-coaster of life.

So many individuals complain about the hardships or unfairness of their lives. But, do we wish we were less than human? We still wallow in negativity; denying our individual greatness, doubting the skill we have to overcome adversity and flourish in success. We become nothing more than human swines grovelling in self-pity.

We are amazing and unique creations of the universe. There is nothing we can't accomplish. But is that what we tell ourselves? Too often the chatter is about thing we can't do, how horrible others are and how unfair life is. It's ironic though that this chatter is creating your environment everyday through the language you use.

Ask yourself, "What environment am I creating?" By talking about everything that is wrong or unwanted in your life, you infect your world with the language of all this yucky stuff. By talking about not liking school, being lonely or having a generally blah! life, this is what you focus on or notice in your life. And before you know it you will be surrounded by people and circumstances that back up your language. And believe me, this is NOT what you really want or like for your life.

On the other hand, if you focus on or talk about the kindness of others, your enthusiasm for school projects, or a passion for what you want then this is what others will associate with you and you will be treated accordingly.

This does not guarantee that you will never be disappointed or treated badly. And there are times you may feel you have the right to be angry or upset. You just need to understand that by displaying these emotions to others around you, there will be a cost in terms of how they feel about and treat you.

Happiness is not a right. Sorry but you are not entitled to be happy. You have the right to pursue happiness, to create it in our lives but the world does not owe you a life of blissful happiness. And while chasing this happiness, things may go wrong and it's possible you will find yourself somewhat sad or even downright miserable at times. Well basically, get over it! We are each responsible for the amount of happiness in our own lives, and our own lives only.

We can use our language to help bring happiness into our lives, or to build a wall to keep it out. But it is your decision. You can work at creating the language of happiness around you, which is often challenging. Or you can choose the language of those lazy pigs. But then you will have to live in a squalor and get slops. It's your choice.
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