A thought exercise for writers:
What if you could be genetically altered to be happy in a miserable life? Would you do it?
Having had a number of private responses to this post in other venues, I offer the following: Some people would choose to lose the ability to see their life as miserable – to become a new person who likes that life, keeping everything else about them the same. Some people would choose the other way and remain who they are inside, even if it meant they could never have happiness in their lives. It is really a choice about identity. Pink Floyd answered this way – you raise the blade, you make the change, you rearrange me ’til I’m sane. You lock the door and throw away the key, there’s someone in my head but it’s not me. In “Brazil” by Terry Gilliam, the message is that it is better to be blissfully happy in a fantasy world than miserable in the real world. And so, these two great artists disagree. Honestly, there is no right answer. It is as individual and personal a choice as one can make. Really, it is simply about being aware that, whatever one’s issues, there is more than one way to skin a cat.