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The little things can make you happyPosted Monday, August 22, 2011, at 10:30 AM
Have you ever thought about the little things that you can be happy about?
Some examples for me personally include: My family; rural remoteness and the tranquilly it provides; listening to a child explain something; watching the sun rise; busy times; an unexpected hug from one of my grandkids; being early; a roaring campfire; getting what you want and need at the same time; something tasty on the grill; being able to write about the "good things" happening in our community, instead of about the lawbreakers; the position of your head as you bite into a taco; and a day without pain in my aching, aging arthritic bones.
I think you get the picture.
Philosophers have commented over the years that the very act of chasing happiness as an end can make it more elusive.
So, what makes you happy?
If you believe it is money, health, travel or a good figure, then you're probably wrong.
You can have all the wealth in the world and still be unhappy.
Just remember, money can buy you a bed, but not sleep.
Money can buy you books, but not brains.
Money can buy you a house, but not a home.
Money can buy amusement, but not happiness.
And, to quote the famed pop singing group, The Beatles, "Money can't buy you love."
Different people get happiness in different ways.
For some, it comes from having a fulfilling job or a satisfying relationship.
For others, it could be the ability to deal with life's challenges.
To attain happiness, it's important to stay away from comparisons with others.
While keeping up with the "Joneses" is part of American culture, comparing ourselves with others can be damaging to happiness and self-esteem.
Is happiness an absence of bad stuff -- or a presence of good stuff?
Is happiness a mood?
Is it an emotional state?
Is it something that happens to us, or something which we do?
The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.
It could be this definition of happiness from our nation's first First Lady Martha Washington. She once said, "Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory."
So I ask you, what makes you happy?
I'm not talking deliriously happy, like skipping down the street and doing cart wheels, but just a general feeling of contentment with the world around you.
Please share those ideas. Our readers and I will enjoy them.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be contacted by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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