In Pursuit of Happiness
I saw the article below recently by DEAN AND NANCY HOCH and wanted to share it because I think it is really accurate.
From all the life stories we have heard and all the life writers we have worked with, it does seem that money itself won't make you happy and that helping others is one of the best ways to feel good about yourself and to be happy.
I especially liked this statement from their article:
"...From this we can learn that building positive family relationships, serving others, and always being open to rich life experiences are some of the major ways to enrich our lives."
I couldn't agree more.
Very well said, Dean and Nancy (their article begins below).
As the Fourth of July approaches, it’s intriguing to note that our Declaration of Independence, adopted on that day in 1776, promises citizens of this nation “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Take special note that we are assured “the pursuit of happiness,” not happiness itself. Therefore, each person has the opportunity to search for that elusive quality.
The word itself is defined in Oxfordictionaries.com as “a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.”
So, where is true happiness to be found? Where do we look for this quality of life?
Many people, of course, think it is to be found exclusively in acquiring wealth. And, according to Morris Chalfant in a 1965 article for the Wesleyan Methodist, “No question occupies a larger place in the minds and…hearts of…people today than this: ‘How can I acquire wealth?’” He states that “This is true of men in every station and in every walk of life.”
We all have a choice in our goals in life, however, and surely the propensity to acquire material things is all-too-often overly alluring – a nicer home, a better car, richer clothes, and on, and on.
In the New Testament, however, we are cautioned that “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15). Christ also says: “,,,But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through nor steal – for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)
From this we can learn that building positive family relationships, serving others, and always being open to rich life experiences are some of the major ways to enrich our lives.
President Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who recently passed away, often said, “To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man.” (“The Lord’s Way,” Ensign, May 1990, p. 93).
And it was Joseph Smith, founder of the Church in 1830, who taught that seeking riches is not against the teachings of the Church, but it is a matter of what we do with those riches. He said that “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith).
We must also remember that happiness in this life is not a constant by any means --- never was and never will be. We are not put here to enjoy constant happiness. We are put here as a learning experience. Let’s face it. We all have problems, and bad things happen to good people.
We need to think of finding happiness as a journey, not a destination – and journeys are more likely than not to be fraught with obstacles.
Pursuing happiness, then, becomes a choice in how we live each day of our lives – looking for the sunlight through the shadows, and, ultimately, as President Abraham Lincoln who suffered greatly in his own life once said, “We’re about as happy as we make up our minds to be.”
Dean and Nancy Hoch are local public affairs representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
(Link to original article):
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