Can we be happy in this crazy world? Speaking of the world today as a place of happiness appears to just be “Pollyanna” positive thinking, not dealing with reality.
When we consider the present world, there’s much poverty and persecution on one side. In America, the poverty is minimal and the ‘persecution’ is verbal. We would think, then, that America would be happier. But, generally, no.
Gratitude for the blessings
What we find is those in poverty are grateful for every gift, every blessing, every morsel of food, every day of life. They are happy! They have joy! However, in America few are satisfied. There’s envy, grudges, the struggle for more money, power, and status. People are most stressed and worried.
How can someone who has, basically, nothing be happier than one with everything (or the potential for it)? They find happiness within themselves, yet they’re not concerned with only themselves. They are selfless and generous. These people find happiness in life every day, appreciating each meal, each moment.
They know the truth, they know the reality of eternity. Moreover, they’re patient and trustful. Can a wealthy country learn from a “third-world” country? Not in technology, true. Not in politics, no. Probably not in infrastructure, maintenance, or most other areas. But can we learn from the people, the strong souls? YES!
The old adage, ‘There are no atheists in foxholes’ is accurate. Those in ‘third-world’ countries are in ‘fox holes’ and continue to hope. They believe in eternity and what it offers. Also, they know their current situation is temporary. Hope makes them strong.
People of hope
We in America are spoiled. Many have no idea of the struggle we once endured that made us the amazing country we are. We once were also a people of hope… and belief… and love. But, today, most Americans have lost all sense of Faith. It hardly exists. Many of those who do ‘believe,’ don’t live their faith. Thus, the lack of hope—and, as a result, the lack of love. Charity is rarely observed.
Comments on social media are appalling. Hate and name-calling are prominent. People are quick to criticize and judge. Worse, they’re quick to attack. There is little attempt to understand. What good can come of it? Does the hate satisfy? Does criticism bring internal joy? Absolutely not! It hurts us—in many ways.
Step over criticism
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” So, even if we are criticized or called names, we don’t have to respond similarly. We don’t need to feel offended by those who insult us, showing their ignorance. We can rise above, pause, breath, smile—knowing the insult is untrue, that the name doesn’t apply. “Let it go” and ignore the ignorant.
We can be a faith-filled, hopeful, caring people again. We can build up our faith in an eternal Deity. People can learn to trust. It’ll take a change in attitude, a realization that hate and unrest are upsetting in themselves and within us, hindering, hurting. A change requires yearning for peace, especially internal peace. Isn’t that what we all truly desire?
Calm down in order to be happy
In the recent movie, “Rampage,” the gorilla, “George,” would get upset and his trainer motioned for him to calm down. In the former condition, George was dangerous. When the trainer insisted George calm down, George would respond, calm down, and was able to listen and be reasoned with. Then, he was also the means for doing good!
We’re the same. If we’re upset, we cannot think clearly. So, doing good is the last thing we consider or even want at the time. But we must act as humans and make ourselves calm down to be able to consider all sides of an issue or situation—and then act and react reasonably, fairly. We can all seek and find that peace of mind and heart if we truly desire it. How can we not desire it?
We all have faults
No matter what we think, we’re no better than the other person. They may be faulty in an obvious way—but we are faulty in another way.
Continual fretting, constant upset– about political issues and every item on social media which the media and some famous people encourage– affects attitudes, relationships and also health! It damages bodies internally, causes pain, worsens conditions, and eventually can even kill. Worse, it can erupt in battles with others and someone getting seriously hurt. No good can come of it.
But, also, something few consider today is how it damages the soul. The soul lasts past death into eternity. If we all considered that what we do today in this life determines how we spend ‘forever,’ there would be less pain and less hate in this world.
Striving for happiness
So, let’s work on getting along, not jump to conclusions, consider pros and cons of each issue and motivations of each side. We should ask ourselves: Why am I so upset about this? What is the source of the underlying grief I feel? Even if we don’t believe in eternity, we will be happier in this world if we realize we are not “all that!” We’re just another person striving for happiness—maybe in the wrong way.
What can happen when we ignore the ignorant, let go of pride, strive for peace, seek hope and practice love? We will be more productive, more successful—at our job, in our family, with friends, in life. We will be happier in this world. Then, if there’s an eternity, we’ll certainly find ourselves in an even happier place!
Is there an eternity?
Blaise Pascal said, “I would rather live as if there was a God and die to find out there isn’t than to live as if there isn’t and find out there is.” It’s called Blaise’s Wager. Blaise was a mathematician, a philosopher, a theologian, a physicist! So, he wasn’t ignorant! He was a wise man providing advice we would do good to follow.
Monica Walker is a wife of 50 yrs, mother of 5, grandmother of 23. Region Manager at Augustine Institute. Manager & Mortgage Underwriter at Bank of America. Published freelance author — various local publications including weekly and monthly entries in church publications. Author — three books almost ready to publish. Poet and Songwriter–ninety songs ready to submit.
“Outstanding Young Woman of America”
Guest on televised Business Awakenings show.
Multiple, various awards at Bank of America and Augustine Institute.
Volunteer for church and small-town activities. Monica lives in the United States.