So what makes me happy?
That's a very good question, especially in today's environment. With economic hardships, wars, hate crimes, lewd and lascivious behavior, uncaring attitudes, self-centeredness on the rise, sharp tongues, quick words, and other audacious behaviors, is it any wonder people have to ask what makes them happy?
All of those things just expressed, however, are tangible methods of understanding happiness, something you can feel, touch, see, or hear. People, myself included, are grossly enamored with stuff! George Carlin once had a very funny skit dedicated to human being's acquistion of "more stuff" back in the 1980's. People will go tremendously into debt just to fill their homes with stuff that supposedly makes them happy. Religious leaders, in the opposite extreme of what Carlin describes, will tell people that only with God in their hearts can they ever truly feel happy. Many people I know have said the phrases, "You can't take it with you," or "I've never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse." But whether or not it's "stuff" or God, one observation can be made of both sets of people--neither always seems happy.
The acquistion of happiness never seems atainable, ever noticed that? No matter how much "stuff" you get, it's never enough. However, some feel that believing in an invisible man that grants you blessings isn't enough either. So between these two extremes of "stuff" and God, the truth must lie. So where do you find it?
For me, I think there's at least three ways to measure happiness. Now I'm probably not going to say anything you haven't already heard, but if nothing else perhaps it will stop and make you think.
1. How happy are you when you wake up in the morning?
Do you wake up worrying, sulking, complaining, cursing, laughing, singing, going back to sleep, your kids waking you up, jumping out of bed, snuggling some more or content with being alone, ready to start the day, dreading what is to come, in a panic or calm and collected, do you say a prayer or just start the day, half asleep or bright eyed and bushy tailed? It varies for me, as I'm sure it does for you. But the real happiness is that you do in fact wake up! That should make you overjoyed right there, then everything else becomes trivial.
2. How happy are you when you go to bed at night?
Do you go to bed angry or reconcile first; do you watch TV until you fall asleep or do you turn EVERYTHING off; what do you watch on TV; do you say your prayers or just go to sleep; do you worry about how that day went and what tomorrow might bring; do you have trouble going to sleep; do you stay up half the night; do you think about "stuff"; are you asleep once your head hits the pillow; do you like movies about gladiators (that was just to see if I have put you to sleep so far with this post)?
Going to bed has so many different connotations, sometimes you actually have to be careful how you phrase it. But here's the thing, when you go to bed at night in a nice, comfy, soft, warm bed, that's just a blessing in and of itself! After a long, hard day, we should all just be thankful to even be able to sleep. Some soldiers don't even get to sleep when it's time to go to bed, think about that the next time you lay your head down. Imagine having to worry that if you fell asleep someone might shoot you in the head as you lay there. Some people should probably worry about that from their spouses!
3. How happy are you throughout your day?
This one has so many different things to consider, there's no way I could possibly list them all here. But, if I had to compare the happiness anyone would seek during their day to anything, it would be that of my dogs Max and Maggie. These two pups are happy as can be. They wake up in a nice, cozy bed, they get fed well, they get plenty of water to drink, they get to frolick and play all day long, then at night that get some love and affection before snuggling up together in their warm, cozy bed again for the night. If I were ever to be reincarnated I've always said I would want to be a dog! They love unconditionally, most people treat them as human beings these days, they get to have loads of fun ALL DAY LONG, they eat well, they have their poop cleaned up for them, and smile all the time!
Essentially, as is the case with my dogs, happiness is just simply being alive to enjoy what life has to offer, the ups and the downs, the possibilities and the promises that come with being who we are, where we have been and where we hope to be one day. Money is a great and powerful thing, but it doesn't hold a candle to the human spirit's ability to thrive and live. Success should not only be measure by what you gain or have, but how you have lived. In fact, how we all live is probably the only scale that should be weighed. Because in the end, what you gain can be taken away, what you have doesn't really matter. How you've treated the ones you love, your friends, your acquaintances, even a stranger on the street sums up the essence of your life here. And one day, when you look back on the life you've had, hopefully you can say to yourself, "I'm so happy!"
Causes Jason Thrift Supports
I would support any cause that helps to see that all human beings are treated with respect, dignity and love. Service to others is the greatest feat any...