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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life is Too Short for Lies and Only Doing What Makes You Happy

Photo by Roxana Gonzalez
I was watching the movie My Mom’s New Boyfriend (rated PG-13) the other day, and in it the character, Marty, made two statements that got me thinking.

The first was that life is too short for lies. While I don’t think the length of one’s life should have any bearing on truth-telling, I ‘get’ that the point that was being made is that we only have so much time here on earth and we should not be wasting that time with falsehoods and misleading others. Lies waste the time of the liar who has to keep track of their lies, think up material to use in their lies, and continually add to their lies in order to maintain them and cover-up the fact that they are lying. Truth is simple, easy-to-remember, and direct. No time is wasted when one simply tells the truth.

The second statement that the character from the movie made that got me thinking is that she believes in only doing those things that makes her happy.

After some thought, I realized that in some ways, this statement can illustrate a truly great way to live.

If you have a good sense of yourself and have your head on straight, then the things that make you happy would be those things that would not be harmful to yourself (like drugs) or others. This means the opposite would hold true as well – that those things that would make you feel unhappy would also be those things that would be harmful to you or others. So, in that context, only doing things that make you happy would be, largely, living an altruistic life. To truly live a completely altruistic life, there is a little more involved, but certainly, this would be a step in the right direction.

What do you think of the statements?

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