HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Chasing the Butterfly

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Poet Henry David Thoreau once noted, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” I believe this insightful metaphor represents the idea that striving to seek out one’s idea of happiness will lead one to live a life of self inflicted  frustration, that inhibits the organic nature of experiencing emotional content. By seeking happiness in all situations, one will miss out on the experience of all types of emotion that inevitably balance out in variety, to bring about natural phases of fulfillment from related events . Without any emotion to compare it to, “happiness” will seem shallow, as it cannot seem comparable to other emotions like sadness, anger, or disgust. It’s rather with the accumulated experience of differing  emotions and responses that individual growth is promoted, as it establishes relative levels of happiness in every person. An example can be illustrated through the natural waves of endorphins that stimulate joy after one cries.

We must be wary to revel in happiness when we encounter it, but be mindful not to fabricate it in an attempt to seek control over one of life’s most mysterious yet rewarding attributes.

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One thought on “Chasing the Butterfly

  1. Yes I solemnity agree with your perception of happiness. I believe that chasing happiness is like chasing a high. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself for a while with it. But the moment its gone, you’ll be chasing after it again. The more times you chase it, the harder it is to achieve it. To a point where it’s essentially impossible.

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