Phil Dunphy

"I’m the cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face." - Phil Dunphy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ernie Should Have Confided in Bert

                     After long, seemingly endless conversations about the topic of happiness in English class last week, Thanksgiving Break finally rolled around to relieve my classmates and I from awkward “speed-dating” situations. I firmly believe that I, over the course of my teenage years, have justly earned the title of “World’s Worst Small Talker.” Perhaps my peers enjoyed the experience of conversing with a person for a minute or two before whisking away to another individual. I, however, could not help wringing out my sweaty hands, scrambling around my brain for anything that would keep the discussion running, all the while thinking of any tips that Will Smith may have mentioned in his movie, Hitch. In fact, when consultation hit rock bottom, I began reciting Bible verses in my head, praying that I would survive this experience in one piece. Awkwardness kills me. Anyways, as I said earlier, these quick yet numerous interactions with my classmates centered around the idea of happiness. Before I begin a spiel on contentment, I think I must establish my personal thoughts and feelings about thinking and analyzing the term “happiness.” I hope I have not lost you. I believe that thoughts on an abstract thing like joy delve into the psychological world. I do not think such thoughts prove futile; many benefits can arise from analyzing how the brain works. However, in the long run, interpreting these ideas will turn a person in a complete circle, placing an individual back to where they started. Every individual acts in their own, specific way. No two brains operate identically. Therefore, why should we possess the arrogance into thinking that every human shares the same feelings as us in reference to such an abstract idea like happiness? I believe that scraping the surface of this topic can reap results. However, attempting to discover deeper meaning in this psychological area proves inefficient and unnecessary. Now that I finished my rant on psychology (I hope I did not offend any of my readers), let us move to the topic at hand. More specifically, let us turn to Ernest Hemingway, American author and journalist who claimed that “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” While reading this in class, the urge to decapitate a small stuffed animal overcame me, followed by a loathing for this man. The author’s quote offended me because I like to think that I possess a tiny bit of intelligence (when you recover from the fall off your chair, you can keep reading). In many cases, intelligence brings forth worldly possessions. Hemingway depicts the claim that these worldly goods distract people from things that bring true happiness: family, friends and companionship. However, as discussed this past day in English class, winning the lottery and becoming wealthy yields worldly possessions, promoting comfort and relaxation. Truly intelligent people understand the driving forces behind obtaining happiness and have the ability to analyze the dangers that come with intelligence. I think that Ernie should have pondered his statement about such a debatable subject before speaking to the press.


  1. I agree with your point that happiness always comes back to the starting point. In my opinion, I believe Ms. Serensky had us share our answers with that intention. As I shared my answers, I realized that everyone had a valid point and happiness does not have a singular meaning. On another note, I found this entry very funny Derek!

  2. Derek, your humorous post reminded me of my appreciation and detest for Hemingway's quote. Initially, I agreed with the idea as when pondering about my stereotypical image of an intelligent person, I found him/her to live very cynically. I felt as though I could relate to what Hemingway said, but then I realized that the utilization of intelligence causes happiness to flourish and thus discarded the quote as merely an attack on the intelligent. Collectively, I still cannot side with your idea that the Hemingway's thought has no truth to it.

  3. As you noted, no two people have the same thoughts, and this idea came to fruition as I read your entry. When I read Hemingway's quote, I immediately saw the validity in it and related the statement to the idea that intelligent people often understand and remain aware of the world's problems. When plagued with the thought of other's troubles, one struggles to ameliorate their own; however, I understand the viewpoint you presented.