CaptainMalone wrote:I think that some people can turn their lives into a monstrous, pointless gag. I think it is notable that the source you use for this viewpoint is the Joker. If someone has decided that they are going to dedicate their life to theft, lies, and killing, they obviously have little value for the lives of others- and most likely have little value of their own life.
I have found that I am happiest when I am making others happy. When I can surprise someone with an unexpected gift, or help them with an important need, I feel like I give my life meaning. The week that I spent in Guatemala building a school up in the mountains for the local children was, without a doubt, the best week of my life.
I think that the desire to be happy is something deeper than a personal, selfish longing for fulfillment. I feel like we are meant to be happy, as a way to draw us toward what we are meant to experience.
Carrying this idea forward, I feel that everyone has a slightly different purpose in life. We must each discover what brings us joy. I do not mean instant gratification that is brought by things like bigscreen televisions, riches, or fame; the thing about instant gratification is that it dulls after a while, and we always feel the need for bigger screens, more money, a bigger fan club. At some point, the grandeur we desire is no longer able to be found, and we end up with less joy in the long run. I mean things that bring lasting joy- often simple acts, locations, or thoughts- that are not missed when they are gone, but go with us through our life.
On a separate but related note, I find it strange that you ask people not to mention any religious beliefs. I hope you do realize that a large number of people find their joy and their purpose of life in their beliefs. By cutting off this branch of the topic, you are denying a good many people the ability to express their opinion. It is like asking people to describe their opinion on the origin of the universe without saying that it was created by someone. I am certain that you are not a closed-minded person, because clearly you are interested in others' opinions, but your comments at the end of the post make it appear as though you only want to hear opinions that don't conflict with your own.
WOW!!! this is amazing post probably the best one I've seen yet in any of my psychological based forum threads. As for your comment about my rules in this thread regarding religion. I'm sorry if I came off as being closed minded in regards to religion in fact wasen't trying to sound that way. I was just afraid that given the nature of this thread topic and that it could potentially devolve into a religious flame war with people fighting over different religious views on the topic. Quite the opposite I would love to hear those views. It clear to me that I overcompensated now I do apologise for that so I'm going to amend those rules. Thanks for pointing that out If you have any ideas on how I can amend them feel free to tell me.