Saturday, April 25, 2009

On Happiness

I’m not one of those people that think that a quest for happiness is the ultimate point of life. In fact, I’ve listed it last as the title of this blog (“On the Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness”) because while I think it’s a constant, if often unspoken, reason behind everyone’s behavior (and I can recognize that in my own life), I feel like it shouldn’t be. I think Leo Rosten said it best when he said, "I cannot believe the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate. I think it is above all to count, to stand for something. To have it make some difference that you lived at all."

I think that in that behavior is where we can find true happiness. I’ve already seen in my life being happy is just a side effect of being useful, honorable, and compassionate. Sure, those things can sometimes lead to pain and discomfort, but how could we know true happiness without those things?

So, that's what I'm doing. I'm being useful, I'm being honorable, I'm being compassionate. I'm standing for something. I'm making sure it makes a difference that I'm on this Earth at all.

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