Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Happiness is Never Grand"

"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."

-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, page 221

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Thus the ordinary is to be celebrated. Happiness and contentedness are fantastic to experience but sometimes are not as exciting to talk about or to write about, thus, I often am most quiet when I'm the most happy, and the loudest to complain and have sometimes been a loud (and possibly annoying) ranting writer. When I am quiet or seldom heard from and you wonder what I am doing, I am probably enjoying happiness.

When a passage in a book brings a tear to the eye, as the above did to me, you know it has been well worth your time to have read it.

I have been intimidated by classic works of literature, having learned in school that I was not worthy to be in certain classes where popular serious books were being read. How ridiculous I have been to have been -- scared to approach certain works due to school's impression upon me that I was too stupid to qualify to read them. I found reading Brave New World entertaining, thought provoking, and an easy read. Why did I avoid it all these years?

I can't wait for my fourteen year old to read Brave New World so we can discuss it together, there is so much to talk about! I wish every high school student would read this, maybe it would wake some up.

In a similar vein but much more watered down, yet with more adventure and action (to snag those teens who need that kind of fast paced rad) that also has a timely addressing of cosmetic surgery and partying is Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. If you can't get your teen to read Brave New World try Uglies first. Then try again to have them read Huxley, or read it aloud to them and discuss it.

Disclosure: See the link near the top of my blog's sidebar. I bought this book for our family's personal use.


Kim @ The Learning Hypothesis said...

Funny... this book is currently sitting on my end table where my husband has been reading it. I think it might be time for a revisit.

ChristineMM said...

There is so much to talk about with this book I don't have time to quote all the other great stuff! I hope you enjoy the book Kim!