Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

“Like Hamlet, we destroy a bit or our own humanity by giving in to the natural, instinctive desire to hurt as we have been hurt, . . .

All of us will be victims of cruelty, thoughtless behavior, and petty annoyances. At times like that, we will have to choose between the seductive appeal of getting even, attractive but harmful to our souls, and the cleansing force of integrity, reclaiming power over lives precisely by not giving in to the temptation to get even. And we will know which side the angel is on.”

Harold Kushner, Living a Life That Matters

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought. As he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.

The calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is strongly equable.

The strong calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold – yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life – a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm!

“How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of character, and make bad blood! It is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness by lack of self-control. How few people we meet in life who are well-balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character!”

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

We may pretend we are happy and nothing is wrong, but we can’t pretend to be healthy; we don’t have that kind of control over our physiology.

William Glasser, Choice Theory, p. 85

We all have this distorted picture, in our society, where we grow up with this constant fear that we are not good enough, constantly being humiliated, constantly a threat of making mistakes being a failure. In our lifestyles we find an escape from the danger if I can’t please, I am not good enough, if I am the first one I am good enough, if I can make other people do what I want, if I can fight my way through, I am good enough. We find in the lifestyle this pessimism, this doubt, which we try to overcompensate on this vertical plane. So we try to be somebody by trying to be more. Once we free ourselves with the idea that we are good enough as we are, we don’t need this accomplishment to be somebody, then we are free from fear and we see all the energy come forward and we can devote ourselves to the task.

Rudolf Dreikurs

“We too have the power to choose happiness over righteousness. Righteousness means remembering every time someone hurts us or disappoints us, and never letting them forget it (and—frightening thought—giving them the right remember every time we hurt them or let them down and constantly remind us of it). Happiness means giving people the right to be human, to be weak and selfish and occasionally forgetful, and realizing that we have no alternative to living with imperfect people.

Boston Globe columnist Linda Weltner makes the point in a story she tells. She remembers sitting in a park watching children at play. Two children get into an argument, and one says to the other, “I hate you! I’m never going to play with you again!” For a few minutes, they play separately, and then they are back sharing their toys with each other. Ms. Weltner remarks to another mother, “How do children do that? How do they manage to be so angry with each other one minute, and the best of friends the next?” The other mother answers, “It’s easy. They choose happiness over righteousness”.

The quest for righteousness estranges people each other; the quest for happiness enables them to get past their shortcomings and connect with each other. And strange as it may seem, happiness may be a more authentically religious value than righteousness. “

From:
Harold Kushner, How Good Do WE Have to Be? pp. 108-109

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