Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pursuing Happiness

On Sunday I did my annual reading of the Constitution of the United States of America. I think it's something everyone should do at least once a year. We've all heard it, or at least bits of it, but how many have actually read it? We all should. It's an excellent reminder of many things.

As always, different parts of the Constitution struck me differently than last time I read it. It's one of those documents that always seems to offer something new to ponder. It stays solid as the current of time flows through it. For me, it puts things in perspective, not just about our country, but about life in general.

Anyway, one small phrase in particular always strikes me... "the pursuit of happiness." It doesn't say we're entitled to happiness, doesn't say we're going to get happiness as an end result of what we do in our lives, it only says we're allowed to pursue it.

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
~Agnes Repplier

Pursuing happiness. What is that? And, why are we so relentlessly, and it seems, futilely chasing it down? Will we recognize it when we catch it? I hear people say, "I'll be happy if..." or, "I'll be happy when..." So, that leads me to conclude that happiness is an attainment? A destination? I don't think so.

Why do we humans persist in believing that something has to change favorably in our direction in order for us to be happy? Maybe... maybe happiness just is. Maybe happiness is there if we allow it to be. I think there's truth in that for a lot of us. We claim to want happiness, but we don't allow it because, for whatever reason, we feel undeserving.

In my pondering state, I took a look around me. I got in touch with the people. What I noticed is that the people who seem happiest are the ones who create happiness. Not only that, but I noticed that the happy people are the ones that others seem to flock toward. When we exude something good... and, hey... happiness is good! When we exude something good, it stands to reason that it's going to change not only our day, but that of others.

I know, I know. Trust me, I know how ridiculous it sounds to say, "Be happy." I'm well aware of strife and sadness. Being happy doesn't change the bad in our lives in and of itself. It does, however, change how we view the bad, and it changes how we react to the bad.

I'm done pursuing happiness. I think the founding fathers had that one wrong. I hereby declare that it is our inalienable right to create happiness.

I have, in my quest to create happiness, found some very simple happiness triggers:
- Whistling makes me happy.
- Hearing small children laughing makes me happy.
- Watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset makes me happy.
- Hugging makes me happy.
- Listening to the sound of my own breathing makes me happy.
- Working with my hands makes me happy.
- Writing makes me happy.
- Making others smile or laugh makes me happy.

Being able to wish my dear friend Iggy a very
Happy Birthday !!!
...makes me happy.


  1. Reading your posts makes me happy.*smile*

  2. OMG I am in the Blog! What a nice will make me happy to get a trip to Snohomish before too long! thank you!

  3. Shucks, Dana... :-)

    Vicki, you're in the blog more than you know! It would make me happy for you to get in a trip to Snohomish before too long as well!


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