03/10/2008: "Into the Wild"
Do you agree with the statement "Happiness isn't real unless it is shared"? I know it's true for me. Chris McCandless wrote it at the end of his journal right before he died alone in the Alaskan wilderness after an attempt to live off the land.
I just watched Into the Wildlast night which was based on the book by Jon Krakauerthat I read non-stop in a single day.
I was up in Anchorage when they found Chris's body and I remember how everyone (the media included) responded so harshly, calling him an idiot. I'm also struck by the number of people who write to me each week telling me of their plans/dreams/hopes to move to Alaska. It's a compulsion for some, it was for me.
Chris saw the most amazing beauty yet had no one to talk to about it. After a semester in Spain I was to meet friends at a train station in Madrid for a summer of back-packing. I went to the wrong station and I ended up on my own. One of the most profoundly lonley moments in my life was on this trip, at the Prado Museum. I saw paintings I'd only ever seen in books and it moved me to tears. I ached to talk to someone about it.
Surfing around recently I read the post of a young guy on a suicide prevention website lamenting the fact he'd never had a girlfriend, and feared he never would. There were hundreds of responses to his post, by guys of all ages, admitting they'd never had a date, never been kissed, never had sex, and they were so lonely and in so much pain they wanted to die. "Happiness isn't real unless it is shared".
I don't believe another person can *make* you happy and I don't agree that the person you share happiness with has to be romantic, I just think that we all need somone who cares about us; someone to share those moments when everything feels right with the world.