Thoughts on Happiness
The path to happiness used to be one of those phrases that got everyone’s attention right away. Why do we so often think happiness is somewhere other than where we are right now? These days, the word “happiness” is proclaimed from pulpits, all across the internet and on shelves in the health food store. No one seems to have a clue. Webster says happiness is, “the state of being happy.” Synonyms include pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, lightheartedness and more. My favorite definition of happiness is “well-being.” We are “the well” and we are “being.” One’s own being is the container for happiness.
The more I consider what it means to be happy the more evidence I see that happiness is an energy, an inner resource we can turn to in the rough times. Happiness is a law of nature not unlike gravity, that exists in the infinite well of being, a natural resource that can be blocked by the mind.
On The Wisdom Website I found this gem. “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. – James Oppenheim. A well-published poet, Oppenheim, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 24, 1882.
Consider his meaning in this wonderful poem on happiness.
A poem by James Oppenheim
(Found on poemhunter.com)
I keep walking around myself, mouth open with amazement:
For by all the ethical rules of life, I ought to be solemn and sad,
But, look you, I am bursting with joy.
I scold myself:
I say: Boy, your work has gone to pot:
You have scarcely enough money to last out the week:
And think of your responsibilities!
Whereupon, my heart bubbles over,
I puff on my pipe, and think how solemnly the world goes by my window,
And how childish people are, wrinkling their foreheads over groceries and rent.
For here jets life fresh and stinging in the vivid air:
The winds laugh to the jovial Earth:
The day is keen with Autumn’s fine flavor of having done the year’s work.
Earth, in her festival, calls her children to the crimson revels.
The trees are a drunken riot: the sunshine is dazzling…
Yes, I ought, I suppose, to be saddened and tragic:
But joy drops from me like ripe apples.
I leave you to take happiness into your day. Spread it around a bit for others to enjoy!
Mahalo and Aloha, San Diego Style