Bird Droppings October 7, 2009
Where do we find happiness?
“The very purpose of our life is happiness; the very motion of our lives is toward happiness.” the Dalai Lama
Several years ago in my journey through life, I wandered through the Mall of Athens of course this was prior to me finding the tea shop at the Buford mall. I happened into a store where Native American art is sold, since that time they have moved to a shop in Hawkinsville Ga. A very pungent smell filled the store; it is a smell you do not forget easily, rawhide. I recall that smell from another journey n my life to a saddle tree maker in North Georgia in Demorest where the vats of raw hide provided a sensual stimulus you do not forget. However in this case in the Athens Mall it was a traditional drum maker and he was building drums in the old way. He was stretching rawhide over hand carved and tooled shells of native cedar and spruce. This drum maker had left a construction job to make drums full time, traveling around the country making drums for sale and doing workshops while he worked just as he was here.
“Happiness is a sort of action.” Aristotle
“The really happy man never laughs — seldom — though he may smile. He does not need to laugh, for laughter, like weeping is a relief of mental tension — and the happy are not over strung.” Prof. F.A.P. Aveling
As I left that store I felt at ease, at peace with myself. Sitting here this morning thinking back perhaps it was how this artist as he worked exuded peace and happiness. He was doing what he wanted to do, and that is a key to happiness. It is about being where we should be and doing what it is we were meant to do. For people that journey may take you through many jobs and many travels. My own personal journey took me nearly twenty five years in graphic arts as well as in various teaching situations along the way to where I am now.
“Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.” Mildred Barthel
“When one is happy there is no time to be fatigued; being happy engrosses the whole attention.” Edward Fredric Benson
I was thinking to some of my students, who are not happy, it could be perhaps a chemical disturbance or imbalance within them causing this. Clinical depression is actually a chemical imbalance, and can be treated chemically. However so many may choose not to be treated and then my question is can we each search for and attain happiness is this a choice behavior to seek happiness.
“The world’s literature and folklore are full of stories that point out how futile it can be to seek happiness. Rather, happiness is a blessing that comes to you as you go along; a treasure that you incidentally find.” Louis Binstock
“It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.” Hugo Black
So in effect happiness finds us, this is what I am thinking as I read. If you look under happiness on the internet you can find happiness scales to show you how happy you are and if you are truly happy. I looked up happiness in the dictionary always a good start and according to Dictionary.com, happiness is “Characterized by good luck; fortunate. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase. Cheerful; willing: happy to help.”
“The truth is that all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their greatest extent.” Smiley Blanton
Who is Smiley Blanton, actually a famed psychiatrist and author of numerous books and co partner since 1937 in the Peale Blanton Institute with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale? I thought he was a clown by his name. Dr. Peale’s name took me back a good bit it has been many years since I shook the hand of Dr. Peale in Macon Georgia. I was involved as a teacher in a program for severely disabled children and adults in Macon Georgia at that time and working with a group called the Church of the Exceptional. This little church was named Church of the Year nation wide by Dr. Peale’s group.
“Happiness and virtue rest upon each other; the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.” Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him; and you are torn by the thought of the unhappiness and night you cast, by the mere fact of living, in the hearts you encounter.” Albert Camus
I always write about the journey we are on, each one of us is traveling as we go each day. I do believe we seek happiness, as the Dalai Lama states in the first quote I used today “The very purpose of our life is happiness; the very motion of our lives is toward happiness.” I do think we venture towards happiness in our daily walk inherently. Somewhere we get lost or off track and many then find it hard to get back to the trail. This is for so many people happens as they stumble through life and along their journeys and I wish we could each offer a hand as we go. Though it is early in the morning please any one you meet offer a hand and please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.