Alfred Hitchcock's Definition of Happiness
In this video, the genial Alfred Hitchcock answers clearly what happiness is for him.
Happiness is a state of existence that we have culturally learned to want. Practically without any exception, everybody wants to be happy. From this perspective it becomes a quest for something that must be found or built, that is, something that ultimately exists in the world but only as an a posteriori event –– a consequence, an added condition, accidental in the Aristotelian sense.
However, how many of us really wonder about the happiness we so fervently seek? How many of us, when are experiencing happiness, actually realize the nature of it? This could perhaps be the happiness that arises from the companionship of another person, but also an artificial one brought about through frenzied consumerism. Happiness seems to arise from sensible excesses or from a moment of epiphany when it reveals itself is the wholeness of the present instant.
We now share Alfred Hitchcock’s definition of happiness, even if perhaps it is somewhat unexpected to find this character speaking of this subject, at the end of the day he is a man who fulfilled his destiny and for that very reason can elaborate a pervasive answer. He was fortunate enough to find happiness and to reflect on it in order to describe it.
“Mr. Hitchcock, what is your definition of happiness?” asked the interviewer, to which the filmmaker answered:
A clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive… I can’t bear quarrelling, I can’t bear feelings between people — I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all non-productive. I’m very sensitive — a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close to me, hurts me for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something — I think that’s as happy as I’ll ever want to be.
Without elaborating further on the matter, one of the afterthoughts on the interview, Hitchcock’s idea of happiness is mainly general, albeit at the same time intimate –– Ideally, each person must find their own definition of happiness, or, as Kant recommended, stop looking for it in the first place.
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