When

6:00-8:30pm, Wednesday June 5

Where

Mercedes me, Cnr Collins and King St

Event

A Night of Better Conversation: Happiness – Myke Bartlett

In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking night of conversation, we'll be drawing on the work of leading thinkers, artists and writers to reframe our obsession with happiness.


Our society is obsessed with happiness. Whole countries are ranked by a happiness index, while each of us feels like being happy isn’t just something to aspire to but a duty, like eating our greens or going to the gym. Those of us who can’t be happy — or pretend to be happy — often feel rejected by the society around us, as if melancholy isn’t a natural human condition but something alien, awkward and (worst of all) contagious.

What if we’ve got it wrong? Are there better measures by which we can judge our lives than whether we make ourselves (and others) happy? The fact is that life is full of miseries, large and small, that are an essential, if painful, part of the human experience. This pain might not be meaningful, but is it perhaps necessary, if we are to fully experience pleasure?

In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking night of conversation, we’ll be drawing on the work of leading thinkers, artists and writers to reframe our obsession with happiness.

We’ll be saying things we’ve never said before and asking ourselves (and each other) some big questions. Namely, is the quest for true happiness making us all truly miserable?

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