Why Is Personal Happiness So Important?
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
- Abraham Lincoln
I have a theory. No, it's more like a dream. It's not a unique dream, many have dreamt it. It's the desire for the all those on this planet to be loving towards each other. For peace and tranquility among mankind. For a song, which if heard by distant planets, would sing out, "We Love."
My theory is about HOW I see this dream manifesting. And it all starts with you. It begins with personal responsibility for yourself.
Others have spoken of it. You see it drift through our culture in the form of songs and books. It's quiet and its subtle. You can hear it in a song by Michael Jackson..."if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change....I'm starting with the man in the mirror".
There's a movement towards claiming ourselves. Claiming our thoughts, feelings and actions as our own. Of taking back the reins of ownership, responsibility, and consequential control that comes with ownership. We're starting to take that outstretched finger we've been pointing at every one else, and turning it back towards ourselves. Not in blame, but for answers.
We started with Freud thinking that our subconscious was responsible for our emotions and behavior.
Then we became the product of our childhood's, believing our past determines our future.
Astrology, birth sequence, genetics, you name it, we continued to search for the "reasons" we are the way we are. But in looking outside ourselves we are left feeling helpless. Victims to things outside our influence.
Hopelessness lives in the idea that who we are is somehow dependent and controlled by someone else or some outside circumstance. We start believing the best we could do was learn to cope and adapt. Taking the good with the bad, I think they call it.
The idea that we ourselves create who we are, can for many, be terrifying. We associate responsibility with guilt and blame. At first we want to turn away from this responsibility and the power suggested in that concept. The power over who you are. It can be overwhelming to some. But with that responsibility comes a freedom that no country can offer you and and no man can give you.
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"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson, 1992, "A Return To Love"
With so many world concerns such as famine, poverty, cruelty, wars, etc., how can any thinking, caring individual give personal happiness any weight? Well here is my dream theory.
If everyone knew that they were responsible for themselves, knew that they always had choices, and started making their own happiness a priority, I believe we wouldn't have murders, rapes, wars, or other violent acts.
Why do I believe this? Because I believe at our very human foundation we are caring, giving, loving, and happy people. We come into this world happy. Violence and harm are simply consequences of individuals demonstrating their unhappiness. You know the feeling of joy. It's not hateful or fearful.
It starts with ourselves and spreads into our homes in the form of domestic violence, child abuse, addictions, and a general "dis-ease." And as groups of unhappy people get together, we call them gangs and criminals. And as more unhappy people get together, we call those wars.
Envision people being at peace and living their lives the way they've always dreamed. Feeling the fulfillment that comes from knowing who you are and pursuing what you desire most. Can you then envision them murdering, stealing, or raping? With happiness comes inner peace. Inner peace and violence are like oil and water.
What if we looked at ourselves as the accumulation of all the beliefs we've been exposed to and took on as our own. And what if we made a vow to rebuild ourselves with new, more useful beliefs? What belief system would you build? Would it be one that supported your desires and wants? Ones that encouraged and emphasized understanding, openness, happiness, acceptance, and love? If you could, would your personal happiness be a priority in your life?
I remember a story I heard about a father and his son. The father wanted to get some paperwork done before he took his son to the park. To keep his son occupied until he finished his work, he tore a picture of the world out of a magazine, and then tore it into little pieces. He told his son when he had finished putting the puzzle together, they would go to the park. Expecting this to take his son quite some time to accomplish, he was surprised when his son returned shortly thereafter with the completed puzzle. The father asked his son, "how were you able to finish the puzzle so quickly?" His son answered him saying "there's a picture of a man on the other side, and when I put the man together, the pieces of the world just fell into place."
So what can you do to make a difference?
Attend to your own. Become clear about who you really are. Uncover the enormous warehouse of beliefs you've acquired from other people and our culture and challenge those beliefs. Transform your self-doubt into acceptance, your self-pity into self-actualization, your anxiety into peace, your confusion into happiness, and your fears into love. I hope the information on this site will help you to accomplish just that.
A human society is a collection of it's individuals. It follows that a peaceful, happy, loving society can only be created if happiness is first in the mind of each individual that makes up that society. We'll transform from the "private happiness" of each individual, to the "public happiness" of our entire society.
Individual, personal happiness. One by one by one. It starts with you.
The dream is hopeful. I believe in the dream, and in you.
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Staff, H. (2008, December 6). Why Is Personal Happiness So Important?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/creating-relationships/why-is-personal-happiness-so-important