Looking “Good” … Is Happiness?

19 10 2007

Deepak Chopra

By Derek Beres

Sometimes, perhaps, I read too much into things. Not everything has to be connected, or contradictory. Yet a day after receiving an email about audience participation for a special show with author Deepak Chopra and I still can’t get past the irony in the invitation. To be clear, I’m not sure – and even doubt – Chopra has anything to do with these specifications. I’ve seen him speak, in Atlanta, two years ago, and was enthralled with his amazing and lucid storytelling. While I’m not a huge fan of his writings – I just can’t get down with with seven steps and learning how to “know god” in a book – his lecturing is highly entertaining and informative.

I open the attachment to the email. The name of the show is, unsurprisingly, “A Prescription for Happiness.” Venue info, call times, contact for producer, check. Then: Dress Code: Nice casual. No whites or blacks. No oranges or neons. No patterns or stripes. Pants for women. No sneakers or flip flops.

OK, having been a photographer for years, I know the dangers of wearing white or black, especially on film. And neons and oranges can be a bit glaring, depending on their shades. But no flip flops or sneakers? Pants for women? Are they filming a show on Victorian values? And audience members certainly cannot wear sneakers, that would not express happiness. Comfort, perhaps, but what does comfort have to do with happiness?

Sure, it’s an easy jab, but one that should be recognized. It fits into that constant “spiritual but only if” and then the guidelines. I know producing any sort of show or production is no easy work; I’ve been doing such for over a decade. And in that time what I’ve found is the greatest happiness occurs when you allow people to express themselves with minimal “rules.” Maybe it won’t get me to god, but it certainly makes me happy along the way.

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