We all want to be happy. It’s even in that all-famous, all-American quote on the basic rights of all people: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Why, then, for so many people does it remain nothing more than a pursuit? An empty chasing after the wind?
The word “happy” has the same roots as the word “happen.” And for most of us, our happiness is based on the happenings in our lives. Things go well: good report card, a raise, a vacation – and we’re happy. Things go wrong: job loss, air conditioner breaks down, fail a class – and we’re despondent.
But what if we refused to pursue our own happiness? What if, instead, we sought to make a difference in the life of another? What if we followed the commands of Jesus to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and care for the sick and imprisoned?
Would we find, perhaps, that the things that “happen” in our lives don’t affect us as deeply because we’ve tapped into a source of Joy that supersedes all the happenings?
There’s really only one way to find out.
Have you ever felt like it’s impossible to make friends? You just don’t know what to say, or how to say it? You don’t know how some people connect with others, and wish you could make friends that easily? It really is easy. You simply have to forget yourself and think of others instead. You’ll notice – if you haven’t already – that the people you feel most comfortable around are the people who are most comfortable with themselves. They’re at ease “in their own skin” and it’s usually because they’re thinking more about others than themselves.
Give it a try. Show concern for others. Ask them questions … and listen to their answers. Show an interest in what they do, even if you’re a vegetarian and they run a hog farm.
Remember the Golden Rule, which really is golden. And something we would all do well to follow. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
In the case of friendship: be the friend to others that you wish others would be for you.