Monday, December 19, 2005

happiness

I've read that there are many people who are unhappy, even depressed during the Christmas season. There is an increase in the rate of suicide during this time of year. It makes me wonder what it takes to make a person happy. I know that money, success, and material things do not provide happiness. Not that I know that personally; I've never had much of any of those things, but maybe that's why I am happy. I've never had a strong desire to acquire. And I've not always been happy. I had to grow up first, and that took a long time. Although things don't bring happiness, people do. Having a close, loving family makes me quite content. And being retired adds to the quality of my life.

In the first half of my life there were two obstacles to happiness. The first was change. Nothing ever stayed the way I wanted it. The kids had a habit of growing up. Things changed on the job and I would have to adjust. I don't like adjusting. People died or went away. The second was that nothing was just the way I thought it should be. If people would only act according to my expectations then everything would be fine. If circumstances unfolded in line with my desires, then I could be happy. But that never happened. In fact, I don't think that has happened to anyone in the history of the world.

If I've learned anything from life it's this: People don't change. It's possible for them to, but highly unlikely, and certainly not because of any desires or efforts on your part. Circumstances are not going to change just because you want them to. Now, it's possible to change things by responding to opportunities to better your position in life. You can get an education, go for that promotion, buy a house in a better neighborhood. All these things are good, but there's no guarantee that happiness will be the result. No, I think you just have to decide to be happy. Find out what you love to do and do it. Decide who it is you love and be with them. Then go about your daily life and happiness will sneak up on you.

2 comments:

Kim said...

What a wonderful post Wally!

There was a time I used to suffer from depression during the holidays and it took me awhile to figure out why. I suppose to each individual the reasons may vary but for me it was expectation. We have always been so brainwashed with the media and how the holidays should be and in all honesty we know life is seldom like fiction. I had so many dreams of having that perfect holiday and when things didn't turn out as planned, I was devasted. As time has gone on, I have realized that life is not perfect. We have a family, we are not alone and we have food on the table. What more is there? This is the first year in many, where I am honestly looking forward to the holidays.

Merry Christmas!

lucylocket said...

Well said.