Fair warning: this post contains mild spoilers for seasons one and two of Mad Men.
Earlier this summer Drew and I started watching a fantastic drama called Mad Men. We recently started the second season and while watching one of the episodes last night I turned to Drew and remarked how odd it was that all of the characters were so deeply unhappy.
He didn’t see it as unusual at all. In fact, he thinks it’s a pretty accurate representation of how most people feel about their lives.
At first I disagreed. While my immediate and extended family and I certainly have had our share of tough times over the years – from cancer to serious financial crises, mental illness to various forms of assault – my life is pretty happy overall and I have a fist full of pleasant memories for every sad one.
I do wonder how typical this is though. A significant percentage of the people I’ve known were abused in some way as children. Others have been disowned by their families due to falling in love with the “wrong” person or are in circumstances so dysfunctional that they cloud out the rest of their lives.
Not everyone I know fits these descriptions, of course, but enough do that it seems as though it’s just as common to be miserable as it is to be happy.
Are most of the people you know best are generally happy or unhappy? How would you extrapolate this answer to people in general? (That is, do you think you and your loved ones feel happier, less happy or about the same as the average person?)