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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Is Happiness All?

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - DAY


  4. PETER sees a phone notification.


  5. PETER (V.O.): During pandemic times, a lot of people seek my opinion as to how to be happy.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I can offer some habits.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For daily habits: eat healthily, do exercises, breathe deeply, be grateful, smile naturally, compliment others, accept downs, overcome stress, write diaries, and sleep better. I write publish daily short screenplays.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For weekly habits: manage space, get together, and plan ahead. I write and publish weekly short screenplays featuring my pet.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For monthly habits: travel overseas. That's what I did after retirement. Since the pandemic, I've been taking staycations.


  14. Pausing.


  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I see my family doctor once every few months and plan ahead at year's end.


  16. Pausing.


  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm reasonably healthy. I live a reasonably happy life. But, is happiness all?


  18. Act 2


  19. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  20. Peter is in thoughts.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What exactly is happiness? Are happiness and pleasure the same? Or are they different?


  22. Peter surfs the web.


  23. PETER (V.O.): They aren't the same. There's a key difference scientifically.


  24. Reading.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Happiness is giving, togetherness, non-addictive, light, abstract and long-lived. It's chemically tied to serotonin - the happiness contributor.


  26. Reading.


  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Pleasure is taking, personal, additive, deep, substantial and short-lived. It's chemically tied to dopamine - the pleasure messenger.


  28. Reading.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But excess of dopamine can lead to addiction, which erodes both present and future happiness.


  30. Reading.


  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Scientifically, dopamine downgrades serotonin.


  32. Reading.


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And so, the more pleasure we seek, the more unhappy we are.


  34. Pondering.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I don't know if the rich and famous can find contentment in their pleasurable or happy pursuits.


  36. Pausing.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As for myself, I could feel my peaceful satisfaction. I might have implicitly transferred my feel to some of the Quorans.


  38. Pausing.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That might be the reason why I've been receiving such answer requests.


  40. Pondering.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If happiness is scientifically more fundamental than pleasure, is happiness what we live for?


  42. Thinking.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's the most fundamental question about human existence and purpose - a metaphysical question.


  44. Pausing.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In philosophy, there's the Hedonist theory ie the satisfaction of desires is the highest good and proper aim of human life.


  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I've been skeptical with the theory, as I think there's more to life than just the pursuit of pleasure and/or happiness.


  48. Act 3


  49. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  50. Peter is in thoughts.


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Since my teens, I've decided to get as much out of life as I can.


  52. Pausing.


  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm now taking a universal perspective, linking my present being with humankind's past and future.


  54. Pausing.


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Humans are the only intelligent species in this universe that would ponder about the future and could aggregate the outcome of knowledge transfer.


  56. Reflecting.


  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our philosophical sense of achievement and accomplishment comes from the optimization of our qualities and potential.


  58. Pausing.


  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I believe it's our mission is larger than ourselves. We're duty-bound to capture, create and deliver value to maintain and sustain the species of humankind in the universe.


  60. Reflecting.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As an instance of humankind, I've been doing small things consistently. And my voluntary work portfolios have been expanding.


  62. Pausing.


  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I believe I've been doing little things in great ways; and all big projects have small beginnings.


  64. Peter begins to type his opinion on his phone.


  65. THE END


  66. FADE OUT.


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