"Happiness is but a dream but sorrow is real."
Whoever said I should be enjoying life?
We live in an age where we believe that we, as human beings, have a right to be happy. In fact, if someone isn't happy, there's something wrong with him or her. People should seek out enjoyment in life, and do everything within their power to advance their level of enjoyment.
This is a relatively new mindset that first took hold in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment and became a fundamental part of the United States' government and culture. Previously, during the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the popular opinion was that life on Earth was just a short trial to be endured before eternal happiness and bliss, so most people stuck it out. During the Enlightenment however, with new ideas about God and the universe developing rapidly, and increased value of the individual, people began to believe that life in and of itself was something that could and should be enjoyed. Religion began to take a secondary role in many people's lives.
Before we know it, a new country is formed based on the "truths" that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
I've definitely a right to be happy. It says so in the Declaration of Independence. But just because I've got that right doesn't mean I have to use it. I mean, I really want to, but I don't exactly have much of a choice. And I'm fine with other people having a good time. It's just that an awful lot of people choose to pursue happiness to a gross extent.
Believe it or not, there was once an age where it was perfectly OK to not be thrilled with life. People say that life was much harsher all around back then, but although we've got antibiotics and refrigerators and entertainment at our disposal, there is one universal thing that transcends time: emotion. Humanity has been sad all throughout history, but suddenly in the 21st century, I'm not allowed to be.