Do What Makes You Happy

When I tell people I’m vegan, they are generally curious. They ask if it was for religious reason. (I’m Chinese; and Chinese usually practice Buddhism to certain degrees, and some abstain from meat — but are typically vegetarians, as opposed to being vegans. I’m atheist.) As I was saying, they get curious and ask if it was religious, or they’d just ask me why.

I tell them because I don’t want to.

Typically, I’d get replies like, “But… don’t you like meat? If you like something, why not just do it?”

And that’s what I wanna talk about today:

“If you like something, why not just do it?”

In a given context, it’s a question and a philosophy of life that seems so legit. It’s right up there along the lines of “Do what makes you happy”, “Be yourself!”, and “YOLO!”.

Except, philosophies don’t work that way, do they?

To me, a mindset, a way of life, a philosophy has to work when applied to other scenarios. If not, how do we determine whether a philosophy is sound if we can simply be selective in our application?

Like, “Do whatever makes you happy! Except, if it makes your spouse unhappy.”

I don’t disaree with the latter part. But by applying the latter part to the former, then what is the point of the former? If the former cannot stand on its own, why does it exists in the first place?

So, “Do whatever makes you happy,” isn’t the right mentality. There’s more to it. Let’s continue our investigation. So what should be the motto?

Why do you not want to cheat on your spouse and have a one night stand with the girl at the bar? It’d be unfaithful. It’d hurt her. It wouldn’t be fair. I think we can all agree to these consesus.

But you’d be happy in that moment. If you’re able to hook up with a girl, it does something for you. Your pride gets bolstered. You feel better about yourself. And what’s there not to like about sex?

But, why do you hesitate? Why do you resist? What makes you say no? Or at least, be hesitant about it, if your motto is “Do what makes you happy!”?

“Do what makes you happy.”



One thought on “Do What Makes You Happy

  1. That invites the question ‘what is happiness?’ The popular assumption is that it has some connection with pleasure. But it might be argued that while the pursuit of happiness produces incidental pleasures the pursuit of pleasure cannot of its nature produce happiness. The reasoning being that pleasure is, essentially, an experience which is sensual but happiness is a state of being which lies within the thinking and emotional parts of a persons nature.

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