I've been reading about, studying on and more actively experiencing and witnessing happiness for a few years now. It's a fascinating concept, and one that is as simple as it is complex. Or, shall I put it this way - it's like trying to hold water or talk about air. It's simply there, we can't really grasp it, but we can experience it.
I posit that we here in the US start out with a detriment, through our childhood education and emphasis on Civics. We learn in our Founding documents that we have 'inalienable rights', and that those include the most excellent LIFE, and the oft-curtailed LIBERTY, but unfortunately, only the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS. Well, that kinda sucks, because in the crime chase scenes, a 'pursuit' is where the one in flight gets away. Otherwise, it's an 'apprehension'!
Have we been conditioned, from young-uns? The same way any of us can Pledge Allegiance in one rambling breath, we got it in there, early and often; did that taint our actions?
I see a lot of people 'pursuing' happiness... like, it's the next lover, the next job, the next car, the next vacation, the next Friday night off. And, that's so situational. And, so deeply disturbing, because it's transient and comparative... "You're better or worse, so you're happy or you're sad. You got the job or not." But, when you got the job, is that enough?? Or, once we've 'apprehended' it, is it as satisfying? Remember the kid who got all the toys and 30 minutes later was bored?
I think this is us, the US, to the letter. But, I also know of, see and understand that many folks understand that true happiness comes from a sense of purpose, engagement, caring, giving, involvement and being able to accept things as they come, with an understanding that all is as it should be.
Perhaps this is aphorism - happiness can no more be created than a flower forced to grow from seed to bloom... but, we can cultivate the right conditions and create the best environment for that offering to grow within.
Therefore, for the next 13 days, I'm starting a 12-Step Program to Cultivate Happiness - check back tomorrow for "Dwell In Wonder".
Give thanks and praise!!