Highway to happiness with John Seealand

Humans, despite all of our seeming differences, are very similar at our core. We all seek love, comfort and happiness.

Humans, despite all of our seeming differences, are very similar at our core. We all seek love, comfort and happiness. How we go about this is determined by a number of factors, and is heavily influenced by what we believe.

Living on this beautiful, bountiful island, it’s much easier to find happiness and comfort than if the birth lottery has landed us in Syria, Libya or Afghanistan for example. Canada is one of the few countries that hasn’t had to suffer the horror of war on home soil, occupation by invading forces, mass starvation, pandemic disease or  catastrophic weather. That makes it much easier to find comfort and happiness in our daily lives.

But billions of people around the world are not so fortunate. And at least a portion of their suffering is the result of our comparatively opulent lifestyles. Virtually all wars are over the control resources. We don’t want to believe that we are indirectly responsible for, or profiting from, the death and destruction. We want to be happy so we choose to believe the story that it’s all about exporting freedom and democracy with our “good guy” allies.

As much as we’d like to believe it, the world is not overflowing with happiness and prosperity. Fear, death and destruction are part of many everyday lives. But not here. We are able to cruise the Highway to Happiness by simply tuning out bad news. This is made easy by the handful of corporations that control the media. Their income is principally from advertisers. The advertisers want the audience to be in a positive frame of mind that’s conducive to buying what they’re selling.

Cognitive dissonance is the phenomenon that occurs when our beliefs don’t match reality. It is rampant in our society as it gets harder to maintain the illusion that everything is just fine and the future bright and shiny. Those challenging our overtly positive beliefs are often labeled as negative, “conspiracy nuts” or the like.  We avoid taking any detours or off ramps from the Highway to Happiness. After all, who really wants to visit Realityville anyway?

Here are a couple of quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King that relate directly to the dangers of positive thinking: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

— Brother John Seeland is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

71-unit rental apartment building proposed in downtown Parksville

Open house will take place before second reading of bylaw amendment

Construction to begin on new $2M fire hall in Deep Bay

Long-term debt will be financed over a 20-year period

Parksville Royals hurler earns scholarship to Nebraska school

Frank came to mid-Island from Terrace to pursue baseball dreams

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Beloved Parksville volunteer awarded key to the city

July 6 (her 90th birthday) proclaimed as ‘Joan Lemoine Day’

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

‘He was just untying the boats and watching them float away’

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Saanich junior hockey team drops Braves name, First Nations logo

Club moves on after 53-years with First Nations logo

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read