06 May 2013

pursuing happy

i woke restless, tired. as if i had never actually slept. i was feeling rather discontent. it was 6am and i was already snippy. then i read, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." 

and i looked around. nothing kicks up the dust of discontentment quite like a move. so much stuff to barter with your time, your gaze, your care. and why?

it reminded me of a documentary i recently watched aptly titled, happy

according to the 75 minute indie film, our circumstances dictate 10% of our overall happiness. let that sink in. 

that means we have 90% to play with. that means just because we are not living where we wish, with whom we wish, with what we want, doesn't mean we cannot pursue happy. 

circumstances aside, why are not more of us happy? and by us i am talking about anyone who is reading this, but in particular americans as we are the most discontented people group on the planet. 

when it comes to happiness, genetics does play a role. a small role so let's not get hung up there. 

and then there are all those things, treasures we seek. and long hours working to buy those things. have you ever stopped to wonder if working hard to buy things is like the tail wagging the dog? 

let me break it down for you. stuff not only takes away our happy{when we are convinced that apart from stuff, we will never be fulfilled}, the time we spend earning the money to buy more stuff is time we aren't spending doing things worthwhile like laughing with our children or reading a novel just to name a few.

as americans our wages have greatly increased over the past 50 years{as has inflation}whilst our contentment has flat lined. 

and our consumer debt has increased-to harrowing proportions. which makes us work more to pay off said debt. is it just me or are you feeling dizzy from the tail chasing?

according to the documentary, the cultures who are more prone to live longer, more fulfilling lives do not live in disney, and they do not have 401ks. and many do not even have indoor plumbing. 

in fact in one man's story, he left corporate europe to change bed pans in calcutta. he once lived an expensive, pursuant life. now he finds deep joy in caring for the discarded. this both frees me and scares me. why? 

because i am forced to change what i was always led to believe. that working hard=money and money=happiness. and yet, there is a still quiet voice that knows. like capital "K" knows.

and you know what, i bet you know too. i bet nothing i am writing here today is not something you don't already know in the deep quiet of your own heart. 

so what is keeping you and me from listening to that still quiet voice that is reminding us that happiness is not found solely in accumulation, but in the adoration of what is all around us. life. people. nature. the simpler, the better.
yours in the pursuit,

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