Instead here are some Musings on happiness.
Yes, I know, it’s a big topic, which philosophers have written about and psychologists have tried to unravel. Self-help books have been written (and sold!) on the subject but, happiness, I guess, is mainly the art of feeling positive.
The current Dalai Lama says:
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Sounds pretty accurate to me. Think about it.
In the 19th century, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying:
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Another fairly accurate summation, I would think.
Then there’s this favourite gem of wisdom:
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world:
someone to love,
something to do,
and something to hope for.”
These words are often attributed to the U.S. author, Tom Bodett.
But many people claim it more likely originated from Immanuel Kant, the Prussian German philosopher (1724-1804), who also said (so it is claimed):
“Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination”
“Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.”
Now, that’s a good one. Mull over it for a while!
So, what is happiness?
A feeling of happiness can often just appear, with no obvious reason, apart from the fact that everything is ‘going well’.
I think that happiness is often merely the absence of UNhappiness.
Happiness is worth pursuing, but I’m not sure it’s a pursuable commodity.
Yet, perhaps we should take note of the wise sayings above.
* * * * * * * *
Meanwhile, life is good when over 54,000 Australians bothered to place a vote for what they considered to be ‘The Australian Bird of the Year’. That news makes me happy, in a time when political shenanigans are constantly suspect and the country is on fire.
For birds to briefly take centre stage shines a little light of happiness into our days.
For anyone interested, the final ten popular birds are:
- Black-throated finch – 11,153
- Tawny frogmouth – 3,351
- Superb fairy-wren – 2,875
- Australian magpie – 2,725
- Laughing kookaburra – 2,650
- Wedge-tailed eagle – 2,402
- Sulphur-crested cockatoo – 2,341
- Willie wagtail – 1,970
- Rainbow lorikeet – 1,711
- Australian white ibis – 1,147