Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happiness or Dispair

Why is it that we all seem to identify ourselves with what we possess? We feel that the more we possess (and bigger and faster) the better we are and the happier we will be. This just does not work. It never has and it never will.

Just think about it. Happiness is something that we can never programme – it is there or it is not. It arises from within each of us. It cannot be ‘pushed’ in from the outside. It arises from within us - from our thoughts. There is a saying, and I don’t know where it is from, but it says, “A person’s worth is not how much they have, or even what they have made or done, but who they are.”

If you are not happy within yourself then nothing, and I repeat nothing, will make you happy. Winning a million dollars will certainly give you pleasure – you will be able to satisfy your desires but it will not bring you happiness. Pleasures are superficial and all external – such as food, alcohol, drugs, extreme sports and casual sex. They need to be repeated because desires can never be satisfied.

Happiness comes from peace and a contented and tranquil mind and an understanding of who you are, your ethics, morals values and virtues.

Today’s financial turmoil just emphasises my point. Too many people identified themselves with money and ‘stuff’ and not with other human beings. This can only cause problems. Human beings make us happy – things don’t. Relationships make us happy, possessing something does not. Possessing something brings its own set of problems and worries because our possessions can be taken away from us – we can lose them. We then start to think that, “If I lose my possessions I am diminished as a human being and become nothing because I have lost all I had.”

Relationships also have their problems of course. But a good relationship with someone, a friend, is worth any amount of money.

The answer is to develop good relationships :–

“It matters little,” she said, softly. “To you, very little. Another idol has displaced me; and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve.”

“What Idol has displaced you?” he rejoined.

“A golden one.” (from ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens).

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