When are we happier?
When we’re free? Or when we’re committed?
When we’re footloose? Or when we’re firmly rooted?
Many in the “18-to-30-year-old” bracket take on a view that goes something like this:
Freedom is all about endless spontaneous and exciting diversions you can take whenever and however and whomever you want. You can travel the world, try new things, casually have sex with absolute freedom and live the “life”. You don’t have to get stuck in a “middle-aged drudgery” - going to work at the same job and home to the same wife - shackled and chained to the same o’ same o’ experience 24/7, 365 days a week.
However, when you’re living it up with endless parties, bars, cafes, clubs, friends, tribes, hook-ups and jumping from one gig & event to the next … and from one night to another night … and from one relationship to another … and from one job to another …
You’re missing out on loving, deep, committed family relationship and stable bonds - old friends over for dinner, watching the kids grow up and making consistent impact and difference in your town and community.
The contrast that you need to open your eyes to is this:
Do you want to waste your life to a life of shallow fripperies - zipless sex, vacuous possessions, showy luxuries and yet sad & lonely existence?
Or do you want to commit your life to deep committed relationships with your family and people in your community?
The sort of illusory, peripatetic and freewheeling life that seems on the surface - free & full of pleasure - is only an illusion.
For the last 40 years, America has celebrated expressive individualism, self-fulfillment, and personal liberation. But now more than ever, America finally feels the desperate need for more community, connection and interdependence.
It is only when we overcome the fear of commitment - and freely and voluntarily commit to someone other than ourselves - happiness, meaning and fulfillment freely flows into deep chambers of our souls.
I’ve been married for 6 years and now have a son.
I’m the happiest man alive. :)