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Capable of Happiness: Are You Living or Existing?

By Gillian Pietrowski

Columns Editor

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist—that is all.”

– Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

It has been ingrained in us that we must grow up, get a real job, get married and have a family – all the while continuing to work. This leads us to fall into the same cycle of doing what we are told, rather than what we believe is good for us. Following such a restricted path of growth prevents you from living at all. One merely becomes a robot slugging through her repetitive day to day life. Once she has the realization of what she missed out on by settling into this dull routine, it is often too late.

Wilde believed that his life was a means of self- expression, which I tend to believe is true for everyone. The way one chooses to live, by the paths he takes, the rules he follows and the thoughts he considers all reflect on who he is as a person. Having the courage to decline the pressures of what society assumes is the correct path of living is admirable.

Existing in this world will bring you much more pleasure by choosing the things that make you happy. Perhaps you’ll even begin to live. Set goals and dreams for yourself and stop at nothing to achieve them. Regardless of whether you make it to that end point, you still worked hard towards something that you wanted rather than having worked aimlessly just to simply exist.

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