Happiness Only Real When Shared

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

Postby Deana.Poulsbo » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:35 pm

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby LittleDarling » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:00 pm

In our English lesson, we watched the movie "Into the Wild". At last we discussed Cristopher Mc Candless conclusion " Happiness is only real, when shared". I admit to this conclusion.
The humankind is dependent on the social contact to society and there are many reasons for it.
The first point is, that humans may die, when they don`t have enough contact to other humans. Because when humans aren`t a part of something, they lost their reason to stay alive.
Another point is that, when you go into the wild with your friend or like-minded persons, you have the possibility to share your knowledge and to help each other. In the movie it`s shown by the example that Chris went alone to his magic bus. When he had gone with others, they had the possibility to tell him, if the berries are edible or inedible and they were able to look for an antivenom to the poisoned berries and also where able to rescue him. And apart from the rescue aspect, he would also have the possibility to share nice moments and experiences with other persons e.g. the sun rising, or seeing wild animals.
The last point is, that you can cut off the connection and expectations, who other persons have on you, but you are not able to find settlement of a claim and you also don`t get happy, by comply or outclass the expectations.
To sum up, I`m the opinion that he should take his sister or somebody else with him, because then he would be able to get really happy :D

PS: I`m sorry for my bad english. I`m a german student and recently I found this site.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby missb » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:26 pm

I just read the book and watched the movie and above all, this is the quote that resonates with me. He had all of those special friendships with people and continually walked away. It seemed like every time someone got close, he got uncomfortable and found a reason to leave. Mild Aspberger's? Maybe. He had a lot of the signs. But what hurts me about his realization is that he had happiness, all along. I'm not saying he shouldn't have had his Alaskan odyssey, Nothing wrong with chasing a dream. But it took being alone for him to see what he wanted and he was denied. So sad. Someone suggested to me that he wasn't mature enough to see that he was hurting himself and others by disengaging and that perhaps it was a quirk in his personality that enabled him to do this. Or maybe he just really meant it when he said he couldn't deal with the way we humans continually hurt each other. Overly sensitive and empathic? Definitely.

I have run, run, run my whole life. First not by choice but because my parents moved us around for their jobs constantly. I always wanted to stay put, to make friends and keep them, to put down roots. My dream was to get to New Orleans and make that my life because it was a place that felt like home to me. I continued to run into adulthood, run from people, run from jobs (so many jobs), run from life and being hurt. I, too, am overly sensitive and empathic, my feelings are constantly exposed. When Chris expressed his pain with the way we treat each other, it was like a bell sounded within me. I finally made it to New Orleans after a devastating divorce and the loss of everything that had any meaning for me. No family support, wracked with pain, I ran, to New Orleans, vowing to make it my place, to be alone.

I failed. New Orleans was my dream and it has become the biggest mistake. More jobs, more empty interactions, more pain. People hurt each other here more than anywhere else I have lived. So I dream again of running. Leaving this godforsaken place and trying again, somewhere warm, near the ocean, quiet, peaceful. What is it that Chris reads? "Doing good for someone else, then quiet, nature, books, music."

People tell me that you take your problems with you, and in some ways I agree. This is what Chris was trying to do, live HIS life, without pain. In the end, it was still there because he was lonely.

Is it immature to disengage because you recognize that you are a failure at any type of interaction with others? Or is it being a realist and facing the truth? Is it wrong for me to run again? Or should I try again to make my life work somewhere else, to maybe do it right this time?

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby Wbhsjchang » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:40 pm

I completely agree when Chris says "happiness only real when shared". To find happiness you must motivate yourself to get things you want in life. You must set goals and accomplish them. There is a man I work with who always knows how to cheer someone up when they are down. Whenever someone told him they were having a bad day, all he would say back is "you woke up this morning didn't you?". You see, everyone doesn't have a bad day, they just have bad moments. In the end, you sleep it off and tomorrows a new day.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby BharatK » Fri May 23, 2014 3:39 pm

I saw the Into the Wild movie a couple of years ago and I felt both sad and happy for Christopher in the movie however recently I met a few friends whose life had taken a turn and a change was a happening for both of them and only when I returned home I realised the true meaning of "Happiness Only Real When Shared" and in context of the experience with my friends and also in relation to Christopher's experience in the movie.

I have written a post about it which you can read at the link below and I would appreciate it if you could also discuss your thoughts and experiences of happiness from your life perspective on the forum linked from the post.

http://karavadra.net/blog/happiness-is-only-real-when-shared/ :) :D

Thank you.


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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby GoNorth » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:55 pm

Hi Bharat! Thanks for the link.
I just read your text and just wanted to comment one thing:

In the sombre ending of both the movie and his life, Christopher realises and documents that “HAPPINESS [IS] ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED”.

I suppose you have only seen the movie and not read the book? The problem is that in the movie (which I definitely think is real great!) the facts are mixed up a bit, a lot has been left out, some things have been added, etc.
Regarding Chris' note "happiness only real when shared", he did not write it on the side of that book page at the very end of his life, but some weeks earlier, around the end of July. And he wrote these words just beside the passage „And so it turned out that only a life similar to the life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that unshared happiness is not happiness…“.
My personal interpretation of him writing these words on that page at that stage of his journey (= not long after he failed to return to the road) is still that he was feeling real bad because he had been looking forward to seeing his friends again, but got stuck on the wrong side of the river. I think that by "sharing" he meant talking to his friends about all his adventures. I don't believe a second that he didn't enjoy the solitude out there, otherwise he would have walked back - or tried to do so - much earlier. It's just that at some point he decided to go back, because he had enjoyed enough solitude and was ready to get in touch with people again. And I think that it's only after he had to give up the attempt to cross the river and (several days later) decided to get back to the bus that he started to kind of suffer from solitude, because it wasn't a solitude he had chosen any more.
Anyway, there are definitely different ways of defining "to share happiness". I personally belong to those people who can enjoy certain things (especially travelling) much more and clearly more intensively on my own, but really love to share experiences with other people afterwards. But I also know people who just don't like doing anything alone (maybe just because they never tried ;) ), so that's ok, too. Everybody should be free to do want they want. I just suspect that Chris, who had spent quite long periods all alone several times during those 2 years, rather belonged to the first categorie.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby BharatK » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:54 pm

Thank you for the feedback GoNorth,

I agree that Christopher probably enjoyed the solitude and the experiences that he had but my post about the concept that "happiness is only real when shared" is sort of aligned with the concept that "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

If you were there in the moment when the tree fell then you would really know it made a sound, or if the sound was recorded and played back later, you would really know that it made a sound, as long as you believed the story teller, but in either way only the sharing of the sound make's it real.

In the same way with Chris's experiences, if you were there in the moment then you would have shared and experienced Christopher's happiness (whether you were personally happy with Christopher's every experience may be another topic for discussion) and in this case the documentary shared his story and hence the experience of happiness is shared.

Without the documentary, nobody would have ever experienced Christopher's experiences and hence his [documented] happiness would never have been real, and a bit like your enjoyment of your travels - if you don't share them how would anyone (else) know they are real.

These discussions are verging on concepts in the field of quantum mechanics and the mind could get into a right headache trying to resolve them but something deep inside may resonate with all of this.


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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby romy » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:19 pm

'Happiness Only Real When Shared' with this quote I fully agree, it's become sort of my life moto, I always keep it in mind. I'm sure that Chris wanted to go on his adventure alone, to find himself, but I am also sure that eventually he no longer wanted to keep his happiness for himself and wanted to share it with someone.But even though he died and he could tell nobody how happy he was, everyone knows his story, so many people from around the world, he inspires so many people, including me!
Every time I read 'Into the wild' (and believe me that's been done many times), I feel stronger, I feel less afraid of society with all their gadgets. I feel less sad. I feel less sad for all the people in the world who don't pursue their dreams. I feel less sad, because I know that I'm going to chase my dreams, because I know that you only live once and you should make the best out of life.
People are afraid of the unknown, but I don't, I'll decide my own future. Not my parents, not my friends, not society.Only I will.
It is now, today, 22 years ago when they found Chris. I wasn't even born yet and I live in Belgium, so I've never met Chris, but I have a feeling that he is still here, he is in each of us. He is the creative, joyful, hope-filled in you. We can only learn from Chris, learn from his mistakes, but mostly learn from his spirit, he is an example to us all.
The world would be a better place with more people like chris.I hope for all you people, that you will have a good life and that you find your own happiness. Just like Chris did.
ps: I hope my Englisch was good.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby ctaylor » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:37 pm

hi.i watched film last week and didnt know it was a true story till a few days later.i found the film very inspirational but a thousand times more when found it was real.
As for his words HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED makes me think that he was feeling very lonely out there alone.like i know when times in my life when i havent spoke to or interacted with anyone for a while even a few days you yearn for something at that something is someone else.

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Re: Happiness Only Real When Shared

Postby ctaylor » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:38 pm


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