Tag Archives: happiness

the world’s happiest people

Another terrific quote from Mother Teresa. #CatholicSAM.com.:

The Gospel in one word is love. We were created through love for love. The more we open ourselves to love, the more we give ourselves in love, the more joy we will experience and the richer our lives become. It really is just that simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

one rich little girl

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We live in a world infected by a viral consumerism that threatens our very survival. Here is a powerful antidote.

Less is more. Believe it. More stuff is not the answer.

True joy is not, and can never be, measured in larger bank accounts or the things that money can buy. True joy, comes from loving, giving and serving. True wealth is measured in caring and sharing.

truth is where you find it

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Charles Bukowski. or Buk to his loyal fans such as myself, is one of this country’s best-known contemporary poets. Born in Germany, he was brought to the US when he was three. He died in 1994 at the age of 73. During his lifetime he published over 45 books of poetry and prose, many translated into over a dozen languages.

I have always been attracted to his raw and unvarnished content as well as his clear and direct style. This quote is a straightforward declaration on responsible living in today’s world. Although I am sure Bukowski didn’t intend it this way, the statement is truth.

In a world of hunger, the secret to happiness and fulfillment is not in our futile efforts to always acquire more. The answer lies in Bukowski’s words. There is deep truth in understanding that less is more.

 

getting enough

Desire Less:

How many of us have bought into the philosophy that the one with the most toys wins? Our entire society operates on the principle that our lives would be so much better, and that we as individuals would be more complete, if we could just get the next best thing.

We have been brainwashed into believing that we must buy more to live. We live to buy rather than buying to live. The issue I have with this lifestyle is that it isn’t Christian, and in a world of poverty and hunger, it is actually immoral.

If our spirituality actually informs our lifestyle we should be striving to live more simply. That’s what Chesterton is saying. Desiring less is the best way to have enough. By living more simply we make it possible for others to simply live.

Our world was created perfectly. There is enough resources to meet our needs, but there will never be enough to meet our greed.

the path to greatness

If a person works only for himself he can perhaps be a famous scholar, a great wise man, a distinguished poet, but never a complete, genuinely great man. History calls those the greatest…who ennobled themselves by working for the universal. Experience praises as the most happy the one who makes most people happy. — Karl Marx

Man becomes great exactly in the degree to which he works for the welfare of his fellow men. — Mahatma Gandhi

Continuing the theme I began in yesterday’s post, I share these quotes from two powerful personalities, both of whom surprisingly share the same view on the subject.  As different as these men were, both changed history, and both came to a common understanding that happiness and greatness cannot be separated.

True greatness comes from seeking the good of the other. One is “ennobled” according to Marx by focusing on the universal good.

As radically diverse as these two figures were, both understood that creating good for those around us, creating happiness in our larger community, is the true path to personal fulfillment.

Someone wrapped up in him or herself makes a terribly small package.  At least that’s how the old saw goes.

Both Marx and Gandhi agree. Fulfillment, greatness and happiness all come from focusing on the welfare of those around us.

And in a world where 25,000 of our human family will die today from hunger, we all have abundant opportunities to achieve all three.

 

 

get ‘er done

Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequence. Just do what need to be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness. — George Bernard Shaw

We live in a shallow and self-indulgent society that spends an inordinate amount of time, money and effort on a never-ending quest to fill the frightening emptiness of our lives. We surround ourselves with piles of expensive toys in the vain hope of staving off the meaninglessness of our lives.

But in the end, we know we must continue fleeing if we are not to be overcome with despair. We realize that happiness is not the answer.

Shaw, one of my favorites, cuts through this  fear when he instructs us to just “get ‘er done.”

Therein lies the answer. Do what needs to be done. Stop being so self-absorbed and do what needs doing. And in the doing there is greatness.