The Secret of Happiness by Zygmunt Bauman, Famous Philosopher of Our Time

Elif Özçakmak

Elif Özçakmak

İTÜ - İşletme Mühendisliği | Editör @ceotudent

Sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, who passed away at the age of 91 last year, is asked about his thoughts on happiness and he explains:

“I remember the great German poet Wolfgang Goethe. The sentimental poet. They asked him if he lived a happy life. His answer was “yes!” I don’t remember a week” and this is a response to current philosophy. A warning for us. Because today we are led to think of happiness as a whole better, better and uninterrupted series of satisfactions, with promotion, advertising, new, attractive, attractive fashions all the time. What he argues for (he was not only an excellent poet but also a very, very wise person) is that happiness is overcoming sorrows, problems.”



“He says in one of his poems: “The real nightmare is the incessant sunny days”. The alternative is not happiness but boredom. To lack excitement. To lack a purpose to pursue, to fight for. What Goethe said was truly a warning to young people. Don’t think of it as a pile of gifts chosen from a container filled with endlessly pleasurable substances. Think of your life as a long, long struggle. In this long struggle you solve one problem and encounter another, and the side effects are often annoying. And yes I am pessimistic in the short term and in the long term. That’s what makes it optimistic.”

People who can easily get everything they want are often unhappy. Happiness without struggle cannot satisfy us spiritually. Therefore, Bauman wants to say that what connects us to life is our goals in life, the work we strive for.
Chocolate given to a small child for a small task makes him more happy than getting it from a place where he can always reach it. Buying chocolate all the time will be boring and not happy after a while, but every time he gets it by deserving it, he will be happy again. As a result of the happiness we have achieved in life, we can obtain various kinds of chocolates and these can give us different happiness.
What we need to do is to look for strong branches to cling to, maybe to reach higher or to other branches, but finally to hold on and never give up on this struggle… Thus, every success will turn into a victory for you and will make you happy.
Kategoriler: Life

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