Saturday, 6 February 2010

Happiness and a Smile

There is no doubt the death of a friend makes you stop and become aware of your vulnerability. So a little light heartedness today. There has to be a little button I can push to make me happy in the age of instant everything. We are all searching for happiness and in this age we want it now. Not tomorrow or the next day but now. “If I could be rich I would be happy.” We hear this all the time, all I need is to win the lottery. Yet the stories of just such winners ending up in more misery and despair are countless. All I need to be happy is a good husband/wife. Sadly if the other person does not measure up instantly to ones expectations we move on to something or someone else. The number of broken marriages increases daily, and with it the number of children with a sense of question about where their loyalty lies. If I could just get that or this I would be happy.Maybe if I moved to another place. When we get it we are happy but sadly so often it is a transitory happiness.

We live in an age with few boundaries and so the excesses increase and with it the unhappiness. It is a strange world we live in when so many people struggle to get enough to eat but just as many people die from the illnesses caused by over indulgence.

Real happiness cannot be purchased or given to us. Others can share it or enhance it but they do not have the power to make us happy. Real happiness comes from within. In 500 BC it was said to be happy we have to control our desire. How I wish the person who said that would come back and say it again and we stopped and listened.

Gosh this is sounding heavy and I set out to be light and joyful. I was thinking today to leave my thoughts with a chuckle. So let me tell you a story. Now before I do it can be told in many ways it is not intended to be sexist with a little thought it could be turned round so the other side is the butt f the humour.

A married couple were feeling the pinch of the credit crunch and had decided to try and save some money on the weekly shop. As they went down one of the lanes the man lifted a pack of twenty four cans of lager and placed them in the trolley. “What do you think you are doing asked the wife?” “They are only £10 for the twenty-four.” he replied. “Get them back on the shelf,” he was told in no uncertain manner. A couple of lanes later the wife lifted a jar of very expensive face cream costing £24. “What do you think you are doing asked the husband?” “Well it makes my face look beautiful,” said the wife. “So does twenty-four cans of lager,” said the husband. “And at half the price.”

Yes I am sorry it is the wife that is the butt of it but I am sure you can change it round very easily. If you had a little laugh then remember it came from within and your life can be full of happiness from within.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be".


  1. Good Morning Ralph, I am alive. You have given us a lot of food for thought and a lot of opportunity to begin a good conversation. I actually made myself some notes on a response, and these all became questions in themselves! I do realize that each generation complains about the new generation, and I also realize that we need them very much and maybe we haven't served them well? We have cheated them in school for sure. WE lowered the standards and expectations, they didn't. We removed the classics from required reading, and due to OUR priorities, we removed art, and History, and drama and physical education and dance and literature. The youth of today didn't do this, we did it to them. I don't think "lack of boundaries" has even been a problem historically. Humans always have strived to push the envelope and that is mostly a good thing. Certainly in art and science and medicine and just everything I can think of it has been a good thing! What is different now is
    WE have removed a skill set that is developed through self-realization and contemplation and abilities to think in complete sentences and reflection. We have withheld the wisdom one acquires through a classical education. We have lost the virtue of leading our youth by example. We have shorted their education and we have created this world they are attempting to mature in. They did not create this huge economic mess.
    They did not create global warming or massive pollution, the various wars, or any of this mess.
    We should be grateful that they will do ok despite the world we gave them. Somehow, much as we did, they will muddle through it all and some will become talented artists, scientists, doctors and so on. I think we could have helped more along this path but it is us that chose not to lead, and maybe that is the way it needs to be.

  2. You make a very Valid point that we should all take on board Jerry. I am glad you are alive and it seems that you still jave the fire in your belly. I make only one comment, because I agree with all you say. My comment is this , sorry it comes in the form of a question. Will they be happy? I am really concerned that we are losing the art of happiness. We seem no longer to know where to find it.

  3. That is a good question Ralph. I have always considered Happiness a by product and not a goal.
    There is a saying around here that contentment is for cows! The inherant problem with "happiness" is what might achieve that today won't work tomorrow. I am Puritan enough to find happiness in the successful completion of a job, but I would find misery in having to repeat that job fifteen times! I too worry about the instant gratification offered today because people lose site that happiness is really a process, found in the journey and the attitude we carry along the way. As you quoted, "people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be"!