The pursuit of happiness
We recently received a poster from Bonnie Rea, one of our artists of last October session of Studio Italia, announcing her upcoming lecture “Wine, Women and Words” (see details on the image beside). Bonnie, who lives in Dallas, Texas is a real estate broker, a sailboat captain, a painter and as we just found out, she is also a humourist. Not a big surprise because in Italy we had noticed how naturally hilarious she is. But what we find fascinating of this story is that at all age life offers opportunities to develop our individuality which is composed not of one, but many identities.
Bonnie reminds us of how life is about reinventing ourselves. This idea has been preached by many influential philosophers. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) claimed that art is the supreme act and that happiness results from a continuous process of self-creation. In a similar vein, Henri Bergson (1859–1941) argued that life is meant to be creative and that our creative projects produce a sense of achievement that leads to happiness. Anything we make may it be a painting, a song, a book or an enterprise contribute to the making of our own self, to the construction of our identity. And when we think about this, what could be our most important creative venture if not life itself?
During our art workshops, we continuously meet artists of all levels and diverse backgrounds, including medical doctors, nurses, engineers, entrepreneurs, etc. Some of them are entering into their retirement stage and are looking for new meanings in life. They aim to create themselves a new identity by doing things they always wanted to do, by finally unleashing their passions longtime sacrificed in the name of security. While some live a “double life” in the sense of a rational job during the weekdays and a dream activity during the weekends, others prefer to leave their professions completely and start a new career. In any case, when we do things we love we get closer to becoming who we want to be. And this feeling is indeed a great source of joy