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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Is Happiness All?

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  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


  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


  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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