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The Interrobang

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Why are people nicer when it’s your birthday? Questions of relativity and hope

Listen to Why are people nicer when it’s your birthday? Questions of relativity and hope

Photo: Jon Tjhia

How are you?

Such a habitual, everyday question remains one of our most difficult to answer honestly and fully. Where do we even begin? Are we ever possessed by just one state or feeling? What moves the tides of our emotional lives?

'Friendships are chosen. Family are not chosen. By definition, if something's chosen, it's chosen for certain kinds of reasons … the concept of friendship and the concept of being a father, a mother, a sister or a brother … they have standards. They're not always the standards of morality.'

Raimond Gaita

In a thoughtful discussion to address our very large – and more nuanced – human dilemmas, Raimond Gaita, Jane Caro, Benjamin Law, Kristin Alford and Sammy J  interrogate our search for meaning and contentment within our own circumstances (including gender, cultural background, upbringing and socio-economic position). Why happiness rather than contentment? Why does a part of us want to destroy what we love? Are we born happy, spending our lives defending that, or are we born neutral – destined to spend our lives trying to attain happiness?

How is it possible to be incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time? Our Brains Trust attempt to resolve the complicated experiences of satisfaction, kindness and contradiction.

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The Interrobang

Catch up with the best discussions and reflections from The Interrobang: a new festival driven entirely by your questions, from the Wheeler Centre.