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Back To Basics – Happiness

So, I was away from my comp for a while and just stepped away from everything. Sat down and read Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith, which by the way is a great book and you should read it if you can get a copy. Part way through, I had a little spark of an idea I just had to write down. So here it is, the little mental dump that was a result of that spark. Unedited from its pencil and paper form. Written down in one go. No outlines. No rules. Just no holds barred writing.

OMG SECRET MESSAGE! Actually, just a spacer for formatting purposes becuase I’m too lazy to do the html. =P

It’s funny how things happen. how some sort of invisible hand shows you different paths and helps guide you. Not holding your hand or necessarily giving you direction, but rather illuminating things around you. Giving you perspective. Giving you insight. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t believe in. It doesn’t matter what school of thought you come from. it may be a diving being. It may just be coincidence. It may be a situation that you created yourself.  It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it happens. So right now, I sit here, writing. But not on a computer like I usually do. Rahter, I’m using the good old pencil and paper, something I haven’t done in a long time. Not the using a pencil thing, but just writing for the sake of writing. For myself (and OK, maybe for the blog)

The events of the past week or so have reminded me of the world that is out there. Of the world away from Twitter and Facebook. Away from IM clients and email. The world where I see with my own eyes rather than through photos taken by others. The world where I hear what’s being said rather than see it on a screen. There’s something to be said for that. And you know what? I miss it too. Yeah, i’m always active online, but it’s when those interactions translate into real life that I smile. Online, we’re simply avatars, sending each other messages in the form of data. Simple ASCII code. Bits and bytes. Really just a string of 1’s and 0’s converted into information that we can see. But can we truly understand it? Yes, there are those who can write so well it’s almost as if they’re speaking to you right there. Almost as if you can pull the emotion and vocal cutes and inflections out of it. But it’s still only almost. A voice recording gets you closer. but you’re still missing something. It’s only when you’re there in person that you get the whole thing. And unless you’re a great actor (or the other person isn’t observant enough), you can’t get away with anything. You, if you realize it or not, are being genuine. The words you say, the sound and tone of your voice, and the way you stand and move all add up to truly convey your meaning and intention.

Now what really got me onto this topic? what was that spark (which I feel I’ve been missing for a while)? A few simple words that Mitch Albom was told by Albert Lewis, his old Rabbi, when he asked what the secret of happiness was: “Be satisfied. Be grateful. For what you have. For the love you receive. And for what God has given you.” (From Albom’s book Have a Little Faith).

But it’s not what we physically own, or the seats in society we fill, that should make us happy. Those are merely reminders o fthe things that should make us happy. They are, in this case, almost symbolic. The moment you forget this and strive only to get more, that happiness becomes something that is no longer truly attainable. Why not? Because there will always be something with more or who is “better”. But none of that really matters if you can find true happiness, which is something that never comes with a price tag.

“What profits a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?” – Mitch Albom, Have A Little Faith

I think this is one thing that a lot of people forget in today’s world. We’re all so busy going out there, trying to get more, while lamenting about the past and things we cannot change. We’re all so caught up about the future of our jobs, the economy, and our future health, and as a consequence, we forget about the now. We forget to appreciate what we have, especially the little things, instead of constantly worrying about what’s coming up. I’m by no means saying that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow or forget about yesterday. Both are extremely important. I’m just saying that we should never forget about today. About the moment we’re currently in, and all the things we’re fortunate to have. For example, when was the last time you just went out to enjoy the outdoors? The last time you went for a walk without destination or without a purpose other than just to go for a relaxing stroll? When was the last time you chat with a stranger without wanting anything from them except their company for that moment? When was the last time you did something just because it made you smile from deep inside your heart?

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