The Choice to be Happy

When we emerged from our mother’s womb, breathing the air into our lungs for the first time, we did not know what awaits for us here on this earth. As we matured, we understood that these precious years, which are a gift from God, have been given to us for a limited time only. Every person according to what God and the universe allotted them.

Our lives stretch from point to point, from the beginning to the end. They are part of the enormous movement of the universe that flows forward and sweeps along with it all living creatures and everything that is in existence on the planet. During this lifetime, we are given the option to live our lives with free will: will we choose the path of honesty and decency, or the opposite? Will we choose to bring light unto our surroundings or the opposite?

Also the question of whether or not we choose to be happy, is in our hands. The measure of human happiness is determined by the person’s feeling and not external elements. It is a personal subjective statement, as was said by Abraham Lincoln, former US president: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

* A person who chooses to be happy will try and find the good in everything. They will try not to intensify their difficulties, but the opposite. They will try to overcome their ego for the good of marital harmony, peace between neighbors or colleagues and a more pleasant living environment. They will learn to make the distinction between standing up for their values and principles, and protecting their “honor,” or in other words – their ego.

* A person who chooses to be happy will learn to look around them and enjoy the little and supposed insignificant things in life. They will derive pleasure from the fragrance of a lemon tree in spring, from the blooming of a tiny flower in the garden. They will immensely enjoy the taste of freshly squeezed carrot juice at the local market, and will watch the waves of the ocean with concentration and emotional connection.

* A person who chooses to be happy will be forgiving of themselves, their partner, their family, their colleagues or their friends. They will “cancel” difficulties and problems – not out of lack of responsibility, but out of the realization that anger, resentment and negative energy are simply unnecessary. This inner insight, that anger and tension muddies the atmosphere and is a burden on life, will necessarily lead them to be conciliatory toward their surroundings.

* A person who chooses to be happy will learn to live according to their truth, but at the same time will be considerate of others’ feelings. Their conscience will be clean, they will live with the sense of wholeness and fulfillment of their desires, and will not live their life in reaction to the actions of others or out of the need to explain their actions. They will have the emotional resilience to stand up to social criticism and not fold when faced with the pressures around them. They will stick to their truth and principles, while being loyal to themselves, their emotions, their needs, and most importantly – their conscience.

“?”[1]  So stated the Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius.

John Lennon once shared: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.”

Buddha said: “Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”

***“The foolish man…” said the poet James Oppenheim.  [2] An optimistic viewpoint and the understanding that difficulties are an inseparable part of life will lead us to the understanding that in the end, the difficulties pass and we are capable of dealing with them


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