Not the Life

So John Rochelle lives in a luxury home in the very best suburbs. Fred McColgan lives in a box. John has two homes in the country where he goes when he wants to “get away from it all”! Fred has a park bench where he sits when it’s not occupied. Who is the happier? Not enough information? Ok! I forgot to mention John Rochelle has a very pretty wife with a pleasant disposition. Fred McColgan has some memories. Who is the happier person? Oh! You still don’t have enough??? Did I mention John has perfect health and when he doesn’t he has a health plan which covers ingrown toenails and planned pregnancies even as pre-existing conditions. Fred has a nasty cough and no health plan. Who is happier? Tell me! Tell me! I didn’t mention what? I didn’t say which of them is more accepting of each moment or more compassionate towards others and forgiving of all including himself? Well, you’re right - I forgot that stuff. What exactly are you looking for?  You want to know does Fred say to the birds in the park – my life has gone to shit since ‘Nam but in this moment I am wonderfully content? Does John remark to his colleagues, “The Dow Jones just took a huge dive but I don’t care - I’m at peace in my heart?” I don’t know whether either of these guys would say those things. Is it relevant? You’ve got all the facts so who is it? I’ll tell you one thing. I won’t be happy until I hear from you on this. Enlighten me, fast!!!!   Comment below. Let music play & revisit this page.  Your comments are always welcome.
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9 Responses to Not the Life

  1. bradish johnson says:

    there was a man sitting on a fence on a small hill, separating two large armies ready to do battle. the general from army a rode up and said to the man” sir, you must choe sides and remove stop straddling the fence, else you will surely be caught twit and between” and the man responded, ” I really like sitting on this fence.
    A short while later the general from the other army rode up and suggested in no uncertain terms as to the outcome of straddling this fence between the two armies and the man must chose a side before the next dawn.
    the next morning each general looked up the hill and lo and behold, the smiling man was still astraddle the fence, however the fence had been moved over to another hill with splendid view of the up coming battle.
    Happiness is decidedly a matter of perspective.
    aloha fm manompana,madagascar

  2. Janine says:

    So, thanks for the enlightenment. I have to say I was singing the song last week as each day was not the life I had asked for but then in the upshot I remembered I was still walking, talking & making my own choices so it was all good! Thanks

  3. He Dez! Hope you and your bride are doing well. Sorry, I usually don’t bother, but this one is close to home. You are barking up the wrong question. Neither of these blokes are happy. Which would you like to be? Happiness doesn’t exist. Doesn’t matter who thinks they are happy or who you may think attains happiness. I don’t trust happiness. The fool who looks happy is simply a fool who will certainly awaken rudely. Some old Papists said Life is a veil of tears. Old Italian women drummed that into my head from birth but I didn’t believe it. They were correct. There are two rails always traveling together: the good and the evil, the good times and the hard. They are always there. Sometimes we experience a good run. Take it while you can, it doesn’t last. Knowing this may give one peace of mind in a sick sort of way. Yes, it’s reality. Wars go on, genocides, plagues and the rest. We cause most of it directly. We can’t help ourselves. Soooooo… Fuck it, Fuckit, fuckit, fuckit, fuckit…..I’m smiling…but it’s not because I’m happy.

    • Dezy Dreamer says:

      Ah Yes, Bill – I agree about the two rails travelling together. The good times are seldom appreciated as we tend to focus on what might go wrong – so you’re dead on there, we must appreciate it when we have it. The hard times is when we should say, this too will pass. Easier said than done but if happiness exists and I believe it does, it probably has little to do with circumstances but with attitude. I am always saying I must use my shows to tell people that happiness is always with us and then I lose track of it myself – ah but when that acceptance of “what is” is in my life I am happy. It is our natural condition. Remember as long as the “fuck it” song can make you smile something has to be behind it all!!! Lots of Love, Dezy

  4. John Hungerford says:

    Not only do you require attention & occasional audience participation, now you’re posing Zen riddles and challenging your fans to solve them. Dangerous territory for a performer, Des, but OK, I’ll bite.
    I’d say that there’s no way to know which is “happier” from the information provided. The answer depends upon the individual & their level of self awareness, their goals & desires, and their ability to achieve those goals/desires. They may be equally happy or equally unhappy. Or either one may be happy and the other not.
    Buddha posited that the physical world is an illusion, and the only way to achieve enlightenment (happiness?) is to come to that understanding and overcome (release the self?) from the desire for worldly pleasures. For us who were raised as good catholics, I think the equivalent would be overcoming “sin” (attachment to evil). Whatever. Most world religions and philosophical explorations seem to have this common thread running throughout. Proof, perhaps, that Carl Jung was on to something…

    • Dezy Dreamer says:

      If there is a right answer to such a question I suppose it’s what ever the questioner had in mind. As far as that’s concerned those who said I gave insufficient information were correct – Also that only John or Fred could interpret their own stae of happiness or lack of – what was interesting was that while Patricia believed having nothing can lead to happiness and Dave said John had the edge because he had a partner no commentator suggested that having a lot brings happiness.
      Some surveys say that in a society of plenty those with suffient are more likely to say they are happy than those with little. Yet Michael Megan who through his work both sings and laughs with people in huts made of cow shit in Kenya and drinks and laughs with pals in Dublin pubs says happiness is overwhelming in the former and sporadic in the latter.
      I suppose those with a lot would look foolish if they admitted they were miserable so that knocks the research value.
      Anyway, the four who commented so far and others who directly replied to the email did add to my happiness. I’m glad I asked. Here’s another interesting observation – two of those who commented here were named John and not a Fred in sight.

  5. Dave Ling says:

    The easiest path to happiness is sharing a goal with a partner. Of all known routes to climbing the mountain of happiness this is the single most powerful method.

    Therefore, in your example, due to the fact John has a wife and Fred only has memories, John has better statistical odds regarding happiness.

  6. John Walls says:

    Good question Des, but you know that only John and Fred can answer that…….and their answer would probably change from day to day………..just illustrates the point that happiness has probably got very little to do with your circumstances and everything to do with how you accept yourself. Keep writing Des.

  7. Trish O'Halloran says:

    Okay. Fred is happier. Because, until you have very little, you cannot truly hear your soul. I know this from experience. You are more at peace only after hitting rock bottom, because then and only then, can you give up to something bigger than yourself.
    Trish O’Halloran

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