What is the purpose of life — to be happy? If so, we are going about it in the wrong way. An animated short film, created by London-based artist and animator Steve Cutts, expertly explains this in an eye-catching way.

The film, entitled “Happiness,” begins by showing young rats racing to join the workforce. Most likely, they are excited to make a difference in the world. Before long, they are caught up in the “rat race,” which isn’t as comfortable as television makes it appear.

Rats are squished into Subway cars, and everyone seems consumed with “busy-ness.” When the rats aren’t forced to go to work, they are shopping to fill that center inside of them, the place where “happiness” should reside.

The rats are so obsessed with finding happiness, that they begin spending all of their hard-earned money on “things.” After acquiring bags and bags of new goods, one rat tosses his purchases aside and waits in line for “Black Friday” to begin.

Credit: Steve Cutts

As soon as the doors open, a frenzy takes place. It’s rat-on-rat brawling, with limbs and goods flying everywhere. After the event is over, one of the rats who risked its life to win a television leaves it behind to buy another new treasure: a car.

As the rat cruises in its sleek, new vehicle, a temporary feeling of “happiness” is obtained. But traffic — and reality — catch up with him, and he starts to realize something disturbing: he is not free. Rather, it is part of a system that is dominated by consumerism. 

In a state of disillusion and disassociation, the rat begins to drink. Bottle after bottle, he drowns his worries in liquor. This does little to change his situation, however. In fact, it results in him becoming homeless and poor.

At rock bottom and now officially depressed, the rat heads to the doctor where the only help he receives is pharmaceutical pills. Sure, they do a good job at lifting his spirits, but they are addictive and do nothing solve the root problem of his — and everyone else’s — conundrums.

Watch the 4-minute short film below: 

Studies have shown that people are happiest when they spend time in nature and invest in experiences, not things. Hopefully, this video reminds more people that they don’t need to get caught up in the “rat race” to find happiness.

Rather, they can invest their time in pursuing their passion(s), helping others when the opportunity is afforded, and learning about various topics to contribute to expansion. All of these are essential for personal growth which, ultimately, results in feelings of well-being and satiation.

Credit: Steve Cutts

Happiness will never be acquired through the purchasing of goods. Thanks to Cutts’ recent video, more people may break free from a system which serves corporations’ best interests — not the people’s.

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