Happiness Throughout Life

February 23, 2013

Here’s an article about a book, the summation of a study of the lives of some male students at Harvard, starting in 1943 and continuing to the ends of their lives.

The book sounds well worth reading. A key idea is that a happy, secure childhood with loving parents is the best assurance of a happy life. But, that is no guarantee, and things can get better over time if you had a bad childhood.

The author didn’t start the study, but picked it up as a psychiatrist in the 60’s. He had been studying recovery from heroin addiction, and was interested in what coping strategies were effective.

The article doesn’t say too much about this, but I think this is the most important thing. OK, so shit happens, but what’s the most effective way to deal with it? It mentions a lot of the guys never learned to deal with anger, and that caused them terrible career trouble. That’s been my problem in a nutshell.

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Hearts in Atlantis

February 22, 2013

I like Stephen King, I think he observes people much more keenly and realistically than any “serious” or “literary” author. I saw “Hearts in Atlantis” on TV tonight- I have thought about getting the book, which I can see is different, but it was on so I watched it.

The single mother in all our conventional art and entertainment is always a sainted figure. The only bad mother I can think of was on “The Sopranos”. In “Hearts in Atlantis” though the single mother is a silly, selfish bitch.

I think having a bad mother is a really serious handicap, one of the worst. It plagued Tony Soprano to the end. I suspect David Chase had a mother like that- Mario Puzo said he based the character of the Godfather not on any Mafia guy, but his own mother. I think seriously dysfunctional mothers are a lot more common in Catholic and Jewish culture.