Friday, March 4, 2011

Finding Happiness :: Purchasing a Car

I'm not purchasing a car, but at times I think large purchases like this are cheapened into a convenient emotional mold that misses out on what could be valuable and rewarding.  For instance, let's look at the 45 year old man who goes out and buys a small sports car.  And then the comments come: oh, mid-life crisis.   Well, obviously, right?

But wait.  What is a mid-life crisis if not a quest for some meaning? And we all want meaning to infuse our lives.  Besides, meaning operates on multiple simultaneously shifting levels.   There's two issues I can see right away, and they're related.

1) We take the meaning we have to be better than the meaning we could have if we had to give up the current meaning we do have.  In other words, we're really bad at weighing risks.  In other words, we're bad at putting ourselves into better situations.

2) Our meaning making might confound other people's meaning making.  Or, just bother their peace and quiet. 

They are related, because, if we are less flexible to trade up what we've got for better, then we're emotionally attached to it in a way that isn't emotionally logical.

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