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Monday, October 5, 2009

Make Yourself Useful

Lately, I've been running across a lot of pithy quotes from the Buddha. For a while, I couldn't place them. Then it struck me: Someone's been reading The Dhammapada (which means something like "The Path of Wisdom").

These are sort of Buddhist proverbs, and every one of the 423 verses can be useful for us Happiness Seekers.

To be honest, I'm not sure if the saying I want to look at today is from The Dhammapada. It's another of those unattributed quotes, but it's such a great definition of happiness that I couldn't pass it up. Here it is:

"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others."

Think about this for a minute. There are three positions on the switch: Negative, Neutral, and Positive. "Negative" we could call "Harmful." And "Positive" is "Useful."

So what is "Neutral"? Neither Harmful nor Useful. And I think that describes a lot of us, a lot of the time. You could call it "Harmless." Or maybe "Useless."

And there is no Happiness in being Useless, but great Happiness in being Useful.

Start now. Don't just stand there, do something, for yourself and others. You'll be useful.

You'll be happier.

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