Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

An article in the New York Times, Modern Love: Those aren't fighting words, dear
was one of the most popular yesterday.
On the one hand it is fascinating, insightful, and commendable to see how the author saved her marriage from unnecessary divorce.

But, I also found it interesting to see the emphasis on that U.S. constitutional right, "the pursuit of happiness". Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “The End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself...... ....

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.
I would go further. As long as our own personal happiness is our primary life goal, value, and motivation, our life may be fraught with strained relationships, disappointments, and frustration.
It is not all about me!
24Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16

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