The English document after which the Declaration of Independence is modeled read, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.” The United States changed it to read “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” So, I guess happiness is pretty important.
Happiness often emerges as the result of something we do for someone else, with the goal of bringing them happiness. Is there such a thing as altruism, the completely selfless act of one who has no personal expectations in regard to the outcome of an act? On the other hand, does the motive of the doer matter if the result is to create happiness for someone else?
Can someone create happiness for another?
Do we ever really know what brings us happiness? Sometimes what we think will make us happy does not. Other times we are surprised by happiness when it sneaks up on us.
Chasing happiness, that state in which all is right with us and with our world, is an iffy enterprise given the imperfect nature of life and of human beings.
Still, we can make lists of things we love—that bring us joy—that make us happy. But we must beware that we can’t depend on others to make us happy. We gotta be our own instigators.
What makes me happy? A deep sleep between sun-dried sheets, making a candlelit meals for friends, a long, frosty, early morning run, a movie that tickles my funny bone, “discovering” a new friend, watching a student “get” a math concept, kneading bread and watching it rise, learning something new, solving a dilemma however small, completing a task I didn’t think I could, hot chocolate when nothing else will do, writing something worthwhile, fooling around with gel pens, knowing that my house is temporarily clean, cross country skiing in deep woods, knowing I have accomplished something in a day, being alone, being with people, getting everything on my to do list out of the way, receiving newsy Christmas cards, being part of a special group of college friends, watching the lives of my children and grandchildren as they evolve, and experiencing life--taking it as it comes. (This is a partial list.)
What makes you happy?