Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Reflections on an age-old question…is happiness worth it if it’s only temporary?


One has to wonder if something temporary, while it may bring you extreme joy, is really worth it since it’s only temporary. Most of the time, when we go into things, we don’t know how long they will last. In this case, it seems only logical to enjoy it as  much as possible because for all you know, it will go on indefinitely. But if you go into something and you know it’s going to be temporary, how do you compensate for the fact that you know it will make you happy in the moment, or for a short time, but then have to give it up and live without it?

On the one hand, it seems most logical not to indulge in temporary happiness in order to avoid missing it when it’s gone. But that would be far too easy. On the other hand, what usually ends up happening, is that you indulge in the temporary happiness because you simply cannot resist it. And the fact that you’ll have to give it up and live without it eventually just isn’t something that you can fathom in the moment.

But then what do you do when it’s over? This is what you should have thought about before when you were deciding whether or not temporary happiness was worth it, but couldn’t possibly imagine at the time. The hard part of missing it and wanting it back is definitely there, and what is the cost? Sorrow. Then you have to ask yourself questions like: was it worth it? Yes. Would you have traded the temporary happiness and avoided sorrow? No. So even then, when you wouldn’t trade the temporary happiness for anything, you still have to deal with the sorrow somehow. Yes, this is the hard part. But knowing that you put yourself into something completely and gave yourself to it completely, in spite of the fact that you knew it was temporary, can be very empowering. And that is exhilarating, despite the sorrow.

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