Meditations on the Psalms #360

New year’s reflections Part 2

We will soon be wishing our friends and families “Happy New Year.” Over the next 5 days, I would like to share with you the secret of happiness. The older I get the more I realize what satisfies in life & what doesn’t. I once had a philosophy of “it”. “It” has variously been a new bike, playing soccer, having a typewriter, getting my driver’s license, dating Debby, having my own car, finishing my degree in Science/agriculture. All the time there was this nagging emptiness as I achieved each “it.” Most people have “its” of their own – “it” might be a degree, a new car, or home, a boat, or a world trip. But “it” never satisfies. We have external assumptions of what “it” is. But do you know what “it” really is? 

Imagine someone could grant you fame & fortune or happiness, but not both. Would you rather be famous & wealthy without happiness or would you rather live joy-filled days while only possessing life’s necessities? Which would you choose? 

Apparently, the secret motive to all we do is an attempt to achieve happiness. According to research, happy people tend to be more energetic, more decisive, flexible, creative, and sociable. Happy people are apparently more trusting, loving, forgiving, responsive, and can tolerate more frustration. They are more willing to help those in need and are also more generous. A joyful spirit accompanies strong fit bodies. So, what’s new! 3,000yrs ago we were told, “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” It’s true! Even our body’s immune system fights disease more effectively when we are happy. When we are depressed the number of disease-fighting cells declines. Helen Kellar said, “Joy is a holy fire that keeps our purpose warm & our intelligence aglow.” 

So where is happiness to be found? 

Analysis of the scientific data (a 300-page book I read) should help us reassess our priorities. The conclusion! Wealth accumulating materialism & self-focused individualism does not produce the hoped-for well-being, what does, is an active spirituality & close relationship with others. TBC 

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