January 9, in “Five Truths” I wrote, “Happiness is our default. Suffering is a choice.” Today, I see Ukrainians massacred and fleeing Vladimir Putin’s missiles; I see Americans living on sidewalk and in tents. My cavalier claim about suffering demands serious scrutiny.
People denied food, shelter, and healthcare, victims of war, famine, earthquake, tsunami, suffer! In hindsight, I’m chagrined to realize the “choice” I had in mind is a luxury a fortunate few, like me, can afforded, what someone—Albert Camus?—labeled “existential angst.”
I remain convinced happiness is our birthright. Genes and life screw it up.