Oct. 2, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness

by Edwin J. Hutchison (author's profile)

Transcription

[colored photocopy of Zakee looking over another person's shoulder. They're looking through a lab scope.]
[black and white photocopy of Zakee holding hands with a man giving the devil's horns.]
[black and white photocopy of Zakee shaking hands with a woman while he is holding documents.]
[black and white photocopy of something that looks like a graduation photo.]

Edwin "Zakee" Hutchinson
P-68859 / CSP-SQ / 1-N-34L
San Quentin, CA 94974

September 17, 2017

Topic: The Pursuit of Happiness

Hello, World.

Greetings in peace. It's me again, Zakee, and today's topics is never-ending quest of the pursuit of happiness. As Americans, this right is a part of our nation's constitution and something that is afforded to all U.S. citizens. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

But I ask you: What is happiness? After doing 18+ years in prison for a non-violent crime, "happiness" has eluded me for so long, I've forgotten what it is. Is happiness like a horse that can be harnessed and ridden? Or can it be defined simply as having good health and vigor while having a bad recollection of previous experiences?

Prior to this prison experience, I was gainfully employed, had a wife, two children, a house, cars, etc. Because I had bought into and was propelled by this idea of my "happiness" being contingent upon things like money, self-seeking, respectability, pride, and so on. I was looking for happiness to appear with these things. In retrospect, living that life seems more and more like handling counterfeit money in a Las Vegas casino!

Today, I understand that life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception and is nothing by play and amusement. Happiness in life is not external but comes from within through self-awareness and finding a connection with the creator of all things.

So, my dear readers, in your pursuit of happiness, don't overlook the real things in your life. You may think you're going to live a long time, especially if you're young, but that is a fallacy. Instead of listening to other people like Donald Trump, Jay-Z, Doctor Oz, etc., listen to something within you! Rather than trying to be like all the other people the way you've been doing all your life, perhaps it is time to look within yourself for the happiness you seek to find.

I share this with you from my own experiences. All my life, I've been running around in search of happiness, going here, going there, trying one thing, then something else. Always in pursuit.

Now, at being removed 18+ years from society, upon my release from prison, I will not spend all my time "running around", as I've settled down and have used this 18+ years to look at the most marvelous and grand thing that is happening to and with me! Awakening! Now, I'm happy with myself! Please leave comments if this touches you.

Peace,
Zakee

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Alestra Posted 4 years, 6 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
Greetings Zakee! Indeed, I find your writings inspirational. I hope to develop a style of my own that is similarly transparent and self-reflective. I was scheduled to read for the first time at open mic but alas, illness kept me quarantined.

I find the pursuit of happiness overrated. What I seek to live is a life of purpose and meaning. I’ll share with you a quote from Annie Dillard that I took the liberty to modify:

“Dedicate, donate, give all your life to something larger than yourself. To the largest thing you can: to God, to relieving suffering, to contributing to knowledge, to adding to literature, or something else. [Meaning] lies this way and it beats [fleeting happiness] hollow.”

May the new year bring you peace and good health,
Alestra

Edwin J. Hutchison Posted 4 years, 5 months ago.   Favorite
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