A busy friend of me just sent me a text where she outlined her choices she had of what to do for the day. She had four or five choices and as I reviewed them I realized that both of us share a rich and varied life. I also realized that two of her possibilities were what I might call explorations — guided trips to either a garden or a museum. The other two or three were what many would call chores around her home.
Looking again, I realized that what I had named chores could also be called gardening and I know how much she loves her garden. What she did was choose what will make her happiest — and today for her that’s working in her garden.
I got up this morning with a longer list to choose from, but started with three that make me happy. The first is reading and meditating. The second was watering the garden which is my job in the community I live in. Writing is the third.
Oh, no, the first thing I did was make a cup of coffee… I insist on excellent coffee and enjoy the whole ritual.
One way to see these events is two women decided to do what makes them happy.
Okay, I know that we are fortunate to be able to make that choice and that many aren’t. That said, it’s also become my personal opinion that choosing happiness or joy may indeed be good for everyone and everything.
The world needs more happy people
Years ago I had a spiritual teacher, Reverend Guy Williams, who often said something along these lines: “Learn to be happy. The world doesn’t need more unhappy people!”
Now you and I can get into a philosophical debate on the ethics or even the definition of happiness. Let’s not for the moment at least.
When I imagine a world full of happy people the thought delights me. It seems to me it would be mostly peaceful and often fun, and probably way easier on the planet.
Turns out happiness is also a choice
It turns out that like love happiness is also a choice. Even in the worst of conditions as humans we can choose a better thought. I’m thinking of Vicktor Frankle, the holocaust survivor and Austrian psychologist, who said:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
I’ve learned to choose happiness more often than not. It took practice; heck it still takes practice. It also pleases me greatly.
I suspect you can learn to do the same thing.