Happiness Only Real When Shared

General discussions relating to the story.
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Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby levi » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:10 pm

I thought about his words for a long time - Happiness Only Real When Shared.
AND I completely agree.

Chris went out into the wilderness to experience the ultimate adventure and to find what he was searching for. He found it both in nature and in his heart. What he realised is that these wonderful feelings and experiences are best shared with someone.

I have been a bit of a lost soul for many years (lost as in - not sure what I wanted). I used to care only about myself and do whatever I wanted and I was happy (to an extent). But that feeling of being lost was simply not sharing 'a true happiness' with someone. Sure I have plenty of friends and have great times.

The closest I came to being content was when I was out surfing. Sitting alone in the water with nature's waves is an amazing experience and many of those sessions in the water I will never forget. But when this was shared with friends, it makes it even a greater experience.

Then I had kids. It is amazing how much that changes your perspective on things. I experience happiness through my 2 boys. They make me smile, feel good and content and every day is a great day with them as I share my love and happiness with them. The ultimate adventure for me will be to teach my boys how to surf and to go out into the water with them. I cant wait for that day.

Sharing your happiness with someone will be different for everyone. Helping a complete stranger, doing a good deed, achieving a goal, trying something new, building something can bring you happiness but wouldnt that be even better if shared? I think so. I guess sharing those types of experiences could be telling your partner, parents, friends etc.

We are all different and we will all find our way...

To all those feeling lonely, lost, sad or in need of something - be positive. Life is good. We are all very lucky. For those wanting to pursue an adventure similar to Chris's, do so carefully. Your loved ones, friends, even us on the forum would like to hear from these experiences rather than a sad article in the newspaper. Learn from Chris's mistakes and dont make the same. Respect nature.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby marie » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:08 pm

I sent this post as a private message several weeks ago. I've started reading the book by Jon Krakauer and even though I haven't got far into it yet, it reminded me that I hadn't visited this website for a while...so anyway, I just felt like sharing my feelings for a while, and remembered that you had asked me to consider posting my message on the forum.

Once again, thank you so much for your message. It makes me feel stronger and full of hope every time I read it.
Here's what I had sent :

"I had watched Into the Wild when it first came out, and had always kept it in my mind as one of my favourite movies. I watched it again tonight and rediscovered the energy that every single second of it diffuses.

I believe many of us are somehow lost,to some extent, even though we do not always realise it. The story of your life, and certainly the way with which you describe it, makes me feel so much better. I have just spent my entire day rethinking about these past few months, and couldn't seem to find a way out. But thanks to the movie, and to your message, I have somehow found a new light promising me that tomorrow will be a great day. I am only eighteen years old after all, have just left home to start my course at university in a country I've never lived in before - quite a radical change, but I have never been so excited and looking forward to the future.

Maybe one day I will gather enough money to buy a one-way ticket to Indonesia. I've been there several times and it feels like my only true home : close to nature, yet also close to human life, without the stress and anguish that everyday life can impose on us sometimes.
I do hope you'll understand what I'm talking about; if not, I'm sure you'll understand how grateful I am to see that there are still people out there who know how to be truly happy.

I will keep your message close to my heart. Sometimes when you least expect it you run into people who make you forget everything, and just realise how good life can be, and how lucky we are to have a word such as "happiness" in our dictionaries. You made me happy tonight !

Take care, and please please please, for the sake of simply being happy, enjoy every moment you spend with your children and family & friends. I might not be that peaceful yet, but definitely hope to find a way to get there. In the end of the day there is nothing like being close to the people you love."

Kindred spirits
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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby Kindred spirits » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:08 am

The saddest thing for me was that he only realised the truth of the statement as he was dying. In order to share it with you, he had to die for it. His writing it was saying "Don't do what I did. Forgive those around you, find someone to love, but don't ever do what I did.". He was admitting his folly in writing those words, that's why I post on here in case there are any younglings ready to throw their unhappy lives away by going on 'adventures'. If you are troubled, remember that you pack up your troubles and bring them with you wherever you may roam, you don't leave them behind ..... everything you need is what you have left behind. Chris realised that too late.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby roger » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:40 am

You're obviously entitled to your opinion Ks, but it's certainly worth noting that your opinion is just that -- an opinion. Christopher McCandless had an opinion too. It may not be an opinion, outlook, or philosophy you share, but it doesn't make it any more "right" or "wrong" than your own. No disrespect intended, but I find your "holier than thou" postings to be a bit arrogant and over-the-top.

In one of your postings, you refer to "Alex" because "that's how he referred to himself." You fail to acknowledge that in his final message to the world he referred to himself by his "real name," Christopher McCandless. It's certainly noteworthy that he did so, as it would appear indicative of the wisdom and insight (at least part of it) he gained through his life's journey. While I would concur that such eleventh-hour wisdom and insight proved futile (since he died before being able to truly act on this insight), it is nonetheless well worth noting that he died with (if nothing else) peace of mind. While this did little in terms of "making things right" with his family and the world in general, that wisdom and insight was certainly NOT all for naught! It would be nice to believe that all people discover such truths in the course of their own lives' journeys an are able to act on that insight, but you and I both know that is rarely the case.

"..... everything you need is what you have left behind." That has a nice ring to it, but it's pretty much a crock. Life is a series of "leaving things behind." If one never turns from what is, how will one ever truly discover what could be? I'm assuming you are referring to things like family, friends, companionship, love, etc., in which case I can see your point (to a certain extent). BUT you said "everything" , and with that I respectfully disagree.

Furthermore, your repeated statements about this story being "just a movie and not real" are way off the mark. I agree that Hollywood does indeed use artistic liscense to make this or any other "true story" more audience friendly, but to deny the veracity of Chris's story altogether is to deny the veracity of this young man's life, something I find to be highly disrespectful. It sounds as if you've gone through your own rough patches in life (who amongst us has not) and have come to discover your own "truth" and find your own "path." I applaud you and respect you for it. I only wish you could respect (if not applaud) Chris' life for what it was. This doesn't mean that you necessarily have to agree with his choices and opinions, but at least try to understand and respect them.

Is Chris' story tragic? Yes, in a number of ways it is. Did Chris make foolish choices? Indeed he did. BUT a tragic life is not necessarily a wasted life, and foolish choices do not make one a perpetual fool. Why do people find Chris' story to be inspirational? I believe it is because he closed his eyes to what society told him was truth and opened his heart in an effort to find his own truth. Was he successful? That's debatable. To those who view Chris' life only in terms of his tragic death, I suppose his journey was a failure. But to measure a man's life only by his glaring mistakes, shortcomings, failures, and ultimately his death is to overlook and dismiss the more subtle and meaningful attributes that, in the end, are far more revealing of the human spirit.

I'll close where I began. This is my opinion; doesn't make it "right;" doesn't make it "wrong." It is what it is, as was Christopher McCandless' philosophy and life.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby saruh » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:18 am

I agree completely. I'm 15 years old, judge me by my age, but I have been consumed by this movie. As Eddie Veddar stated, I feel as if im inside looking out. I feel as if my parents hold back. They say they would love to do things, and never do them. All I want to say, is im so happy you're going to share your experiences with your children because that's what I wish my parents would do. I wish instead of talking about their amazing adventures all around the world, they would let me experience them myself.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby cvdheyden » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:16 pm

manny thanks chris for sharing this words with the world or everybody who is openminded enough. you wrote a great thing into your journal. i am greateful that i found a movie about you in our video rental shop in frankfurt germany. you prooved that one can create a dream and manny can create reality. now its up to us. bless you and rest in peace good old christopher

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby vergeetmenietje » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:44 pm

I cannot agree more... I don't think I realized how important this was before I read Chris's story.
I often walk in the woods, close to my home, on my own. Until quite recently, I thought I enjoyed it more on my own. But I love it just as much, if not more, if a friend of mine comes along and I can show them this great place and how much it means to me. I want to share it, even though it isn't mine.
I want to share the love I feel for the place.
I'm just so glad, so grateful, to have read those words and to understand them now. I'm only fourteen and I just hope that I'll remember them. (I'm scared I might forget them, that I might forget their importance, strange isn't it?)
It's just so important to me to know this, to understand it and, to the best of my ability, live by it.

cvdheyden wrote: now its up to us. bless you and rest in peace good old christopher

You're right. Now it's up to us to live by that belief that Chris left us.
Thank you so much Chris and rest in peace.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby anon » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:18 pm

"Happiness is only real when shared"

These words made a mark on me from the first time I heard them. I understand completly what Christopher McCandless must have been trying to say. No matter what you may achieve in life, what beautiful things you may see, or do, it is worth nothing unless you have someone to share them with. Human beings are social creatures. Some are more social than others, but almost noone can be truly happy alone.

It is important to realise this. People spend too much time and energy making money, buying fancy toys and showing them off, but that is, in many ways a life wasted. It took me many years to realise this, and I fought against it for so long. I have a certain... condition, that precludes me from ever having any meaningful, or even non-meaningful relationships with other people. I have finally come to realise, with great pain, the accuracy of these words. No matter wht I may do, or achieve, no matter where I may go, or what I may see, I will always live an empty, hollow life.

I don't know if anyone will ever read this, but if they do, remember Christopher McCandless' final words. There are what really matter. He realised that in death, don't wait until it's too late for you.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby bswee » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:35 am

Dear anon,

I have loved Chris' story and journey for many years. I had an urge to re-watch the movie tonight. I had an urge to google this quote because I remembered I loved it so much. I had an urge to click on this site and read this forum and I never read forums. This isn't a very popular board by any means; no one had responded before you in almost a year.

I feel I was meant to find your post and meant to say hello. I do not know your condition. I do not know if maybe you think you'll live an empty life for good reason. But I refuse to accept it. And I'm sure many others in your life will refuse to accept it as well.

Keep your hopes up. And know that even a complete stranger can share in your life. Look at this little moment we've just shared, however non-meaningful it may be.

Sharing even the tiniest moment can make you feel just a little less hollow. Or at least, that's what I've come to realize works for me.


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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby BrianMcCully » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:14 pm

Chris' story resonates to the marrow of my bones. Didn't know what the movie was all about when I turned it on, happen to jump into move when just before he abandoned car in AZ, almost shut it off cuz it had a documentary feel to it, was crying by the end, these words were the most powerful!! Grew up in New Mexico, use to climb mountains when I was a kid and just sit there, hating society for everything that it is, and and thanking god for a bit of escape into his grandeur........but after awhile these words percolate up into your conscience and its truth humbles you.

Thanks for sharing Chris, and Chris' family.

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