Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, December 30, 2016

Contented ?

 It seems to me your happiness is dependent upon the things you want. A rather obvious statement don't you think ? If you get what you want, you're happy. It really is as simple as that. The challenge for us all is getting what we want into alignment with what we need. Balance the two and presto, we're happy campers. Determining our needs is the issue. What would appear to be a bare necessity for some is excess to another. No where is that more evident than with wealthy folks getting divorced. You hear the judge say," she is entitled to the lifestyle she has become accustomed to " and grants a copious amount of alimony. I question whether she, or he, needs that amount to live on. The justification is it is what they have become accustomed to. Is that saying that it what they need to be happy ? Do you have a right to happiness ? No, I don't think that happiness itself is a right.The founding fathers said we have a right to the pursuit of happiness, they didn't say we were guaranteed to catch it ! We are just guaranteed the right to try. And that right is guaranteed by our God.
 Is happiness a conscious decision ? I believe it can be but lasting happiness is not. Lasting happiness has to stem from our character. It is something we learn to nurture and grow. It is not gained by the dismissal of anything, but rather by the acceptance of truth. Those truths may not always be what we would wish them to be, but reality is seldom ideal. Ideals stem from dreams. We may pursue our dreams that is true, but we are not guaranteed to fulfill them either. It doesn't mean we shouldn't dream.
 I read some time back about a gentleman that lived in my hometown. By todays standards he would have been judged to be, shall we say. " intellectually challenged. " One day he was being teased by some children for this shortcoming. Calling him names he responded to those children with a simple statement of truth, " I've got all the sense the good lord saw fit to give me. " I have remembered that all these years and the truth of his words. He wasn't upset by it. He was definitely pragmatic in his approach to that situation, and I'm guessing life in general. It did not spoil his happiness. By all accounts he just went on about his business. Was it a conscious decision on his part ? I don't think so but rather it spoke to his character. The Desiderata says much the same. I have that bit of prose hanging on my wall and refer to it often. It could be a formula for happiness as it contains many such simple statements of truth. And isn't that what made that man happy ? He stated a simple fact and moved on. We would all be wise to do such.
 The question really is, what do you need ? When we learn to identify our needs, and judge our success by that rather than our wants, we will find happiness. There is always something more to want isn't there ? Does anyone ever not want something more ? Oh, you will hear folks say, I've got all I need and that may be the truth, but there are still things they want. Truth is happiness is not earned, but granted. And only you can grant yourself happiness. No one else can provide that for you. When that gentleman said, he had all the sense the good lord saw fit to give him, he affirmed  a simple truth. He wasn't unhappy about what he didn't have, but happy for what he did. When we lose something that we felt we had we do want it back. That is being human. Is the want a necessity ? There are times when I believe we have to make a conscious decision to be happy with what we have. Just being content really isn't enough to satisfy us though. Many of us live a life of content, the fortunate obtain happiness. It is the content of our character that grants us happiness, not being contented.