The Count of Monte Cristo: Man’s Search for Happiness

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a live summers’ evening performance of “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

The Kadadl team says this: “The Count Of Monte Cristo’ is a novel written by Alexandre Dumas which follows the study of a betrayed human psyche.

The story revolves around the close study of the themes of justice, hope, mercy and vengeance. It follows the story of a person betrayed by his rival who ends up getting imprisoned wrongfully before gaining enough fortune to take his revenge”. –credit

“I don’t think man was meant to attain happiness so easily. Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.”

Alexandre Dumas, ‘The Count Of Monte Cristo’.

Conquering happiness?

That sounds like such a battle to be had. It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult. “Shouldn’t” happiness just flow? Those warm fuzzy feelings of joy that ooze up on us, when we feel satiated with food or we feel the comfort of a soft pillow and fluffy blanket.

Those are simple pleasures of life that we sometimes wouldn’t call happiness.

Happiness Must mean 'everything is going fine, I'm prospering and all my kids are safe and happy'. 

That might be my definition of happiness. But, when all of those things are ever-so-not-slightly out of my control; I need to find a different definition.

In ‘The Count”, the hero/ victim/ villain has no choice but to find happiness in a stone cell, isolated and alone. He finds God through a fellow prisoner who digs his way into his cell. This elderly man almost seems like an illusion at times, in order to achieve some sense of sanity to the main characters dire circumstances. Whether the old man/wizard real or not, he is definitely Donte’s ticket to happiness.

What is our ticket? Where can we find our golden ticket?

Searching, yearning, and pining for happiness is a bit like a country song from when I was a teenager:

“Lookin’ for traces of what I’m dreaming of”….

These bits of happiness we seek, are already all around us, but we are unable to see them.

If we are constantly waiting for “our ship to come in”, we gonna-be-stranded-on-the-shore in our self-induced prison of misery. Expectations are killers in relationships, so are expectations of what our life “should” look like.

We “shouldn’t” SHUD-ON other people, so don’t SHUD-ON yourself.

Donte` probably didn’t pray or wish for an old man to pop up out of the ground to save him, but he might have made peace with his circumstances enough to create the space for the solution to seep in and envelope him in hope.

Holding space for others, is a gift to ourselves to practice 'the pause'.