“Nice guys” vs Happy Endings

What must I say to be sincere? The unsolvable question!

I mentioned yesterday that love takes the path that leads to happiness for the other person.  In the case of romance, it is pretty obvious that this also is your own happiness. Or one should at least think that would be pretty obvious.

I mentioned long ago the irony of young men complaining that a nice guy can’t get laid.  How nice are you really if you expect to be rewarded for it? It is for the same reason I don’t go out very actively and preach the Truth that you get deliriously happy by loving knowledge and insight for its own sake. I am glad I am not the only one to notice this, but there is an obvious problem:  If people know this beforehand, they may pursue knowledge simply for the joy that awaits them, and then their motivation is not pure love.  And the relationship between a man and wisdom is very much a love, only not physical.

When I grew up, in Norwegian schools we learned a couple poems to the effect that “the greatest joy you can have is to bring joy to others”.  I wonder if this has not contributed more to the affluence of my country than the oil in the North Sea.  There are plenty of nations with oil resources, and most of them are truly tragic places to live, so that can hardly be it.  However, Norwegians are also the most trustful people in the world.  This has its drawbacks – they have more unprotected sex outside marriage than anybody else, according to statistics compiled by Durex – but it also makes everyday life much smoother. It is only in areas with immigrants that people need to lock their doors, and in the countryside you will still get your wallet back if you remember where you lost it.

The thing is that even a small increase in the people’s care about others will have a great effect on their own happiness.  Self-centered people, which is the ideal in the USA and increasingly here in Norway too, will never be happy.  This almost goes without saying when you have lived a life of personal growth, but it is not really obvious at all until you have tried it.  And if you try it only to increase your own happiness, you have not tried it at all!

This is a difficult situation, is it not? As long as you look for your own happiness, you cannot find it.  But when you love a person or a virtue, you will find that happiness seeks you out. By “love” here I mean in a selfless way, that you experience at least moments where your self becomes transparent and for a little while, silence of the mumbling voice inside you that always says “it is about me, it is all about me”.  You may not think you have such a voice, but then ask yourself:  Why is it all about you?  Who told you that?

Being a parent is a struggle and an unpaid workload that I can not really imagine.  Year after year of work and worry.  And yet, at the end of the day parents rarely curse their fate. Yes, there are times when they will tell you that they would never have had children if they knew how it was.  But it does not last.  Eventually, some kind of satisfaction remains.  I believe this is because of those moments when your self became transparent, and forgetting yourself briefly you could delight in the happiness of another.

If you expect your children to pay you tit for tat, you will definitely die unhappy and unrewarded.  Nobody loves a debt collector.

On the topic of endings, happy or otherwise, I am going to post spoilers for the Happy Ending Oneshot manga, which I came across in my research on happy endings.  In this 41-page comic, Boy has a crush on Girl 1.  He is found out by Girl 2, who promises to keep his secret and teach him the basics of not scaring away girls.  Several times, she saves him from making horrible social blunders.  But in the end while he is telling Girl 1 his feelings, he realizes that she is not the one he loves the most. That is Girl 2, who was only seeking his happiness rather than her own, and so he runs off to seek out her instead.  So cute. ^_^ But it won’t work if you try it, obviously, because selflessness is the one thing you cannot do, until you give it up.