Proust Questionnaire Number Ten

Proust Quote:
“Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.”

Confessions Question:
Your idea of happiness

Confidences Question:
My dream of happiness.

Proust’s Answer:
I am afraid it be not great enough, I dare not speak it, I am afraid of destroying it by speaking it.

That Proust sure was a coward. “I am afraid of destroying it…” But he was from France and that is a country that isn’t exactly known for its courage.

However, I think there is some truth in the quote that happiness exists to make unhappiness possible. I think it is closer to the truth to say that unhappiness makes the experience of happiness richer. I would also argue that unhappiness is at its lowest depth before happiness arrives. But happiness is a much more powerful (although frailer) emotion than unhappiness. A little drop of happiness blows unhappiness out of the water.

There is a misery questionnaire question where I will repeat this basic information, but I think in general terms, the greatest misery is in waiting for a certain thing to happen. The greatest happiness is when that certain thing happens. That certain thing might not ever happen, therefore a person sometimes has to come to acceptance.

There are certainly things that make me happy. One of them ends frequently with the phrase “Sweet dreams.”

I have two friends that are diametrically opposed on the concept of dreams. One friend believes that dreams are an intricate part of life. They should be held up and examined every day and they should be pursued with every breath of your being. If you call his phone, the voicemail message will tell you that you have reached, “Dreams, Incorporated.” It is not a real company, so don’t give him any money. You won’t get it back. But your money will help him pursue his dreams.

This friend’s philosophy on dreams would best be summed up by the Marcel Proust quote:

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.”

The other friend thinks that it is pointless to pursue dreams because dreams can’t become reality. He once noted that he couldn’t “grow bat wings” in reality. All this talk about dreams is a humbug!

This friend’s philosophy on dreams would be best summed up by the Baltasar Gracian quote:

“Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.”

My philosophy lies somewhere in the middle. I certainly believe that dreams are worth pursuing. To not have aspirations or goals leads to somewhat of an aimless existence, but perhaps I don’t follow my dreams with the type of vigor that Friend One does.

If dreams are (what I think they are) our ideas of perfect happiness, then these are a few of my dreams:

Some of these are attainable dreams. Some of them are in the “bat wing” category.

To hear Jay say, “Want to come over and watch a completed version of Games 2 tonight?”
To hear Willy say, “And this is my beautiful wife…”
To hear Shannon say, “Wow! You organized that really well. If this is the caliber of person that Iowa State University produces, I should root for their athletic teams when they play anybody but my beloved UNI Panthers.”
To hear Geri D. say, “Opening night for the One Act play you wrote will be…”
To hear Jen say, “Maybe the dogs don’t like being dressed up.”
To hear Derrick say, “Yeah, Pink Floyd called and they want to open for us on our European Tour. I told them we would get back to them.”
To hear Jill say, “I think I have changed my mind… feet are funny, not gross!”
To hear Sara say, “I looked in the mirror and decided, I didn’t need that Hello Kitty humidifier.”
To hear Monica say, “I just don’t have room for all these paintings I have done. Here, take about 5-10 of these off my hands.”
To hear Baier say, “I really shouldn’t be that emotionally invested in a pro sports team in a city that is 3 hours away from where I live. I think I’m going to take that wasted energy and train my dog to be less racist. Perhaps research unicorn blood in my spare time.”
To hear Russell say, “I don’t even know why I ever even question anything you say about sports, politics, movies or life. Mr. Bennett, I am in awe of you. In the future, when you speak, I will sit silently and keep notes. It is my greatest fear that some of your wisdom will be lost to the following generations.”
To hear Nader say, “The new Harry Potter movie was pretty good.”
To hear Andree say, “Maybe I have too many televisions. 7 is a lot for 1 guy.”
To hear Scottie D. say, “I apologize for ever questioning your commitment to tenderloins. You may hit me one time.”
To hear Eric say, “Dogs are really better than cats. I don’t know why I couldn’t see that before.”
To hear Jesse say, “I’ve thought about it. Maybe I should worship somebody that actually gets some playing time during the Olympics, rather than that creepy looking Finch girl.”

There are more, but I might be on happiness overload just thinking on my dreams.

2 thoughts on “Proust Questionnaire Number Ten”

  1. That Shannon – such blind hatred for a school she grew up so near.

    I think I just want the American dream. No more, no less.

Comments are closed.