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Saturday, April 17, 2010

BE Happy

A few years ago, a friend and I were hosting a Wednesday night social meeting. One week, I was scheduled to give a talk on "The Secret of Happiness." (Yes, only one; but you get 365!)

At the time, I also ran a mailing list called "The Laughing Buddha." My cohort and I swapped lists, to make sure that everyone received our announcements.

A member of his list sent him this letter in reply to our invitation (unedited except for the names):

Hi R---, i shall not be attending any more of these "club meetings" and please don't send me any "laughing budda" e-mails. I don't wish to receive any kind of religeous material. Be they writings, beliefs or any of the like.
Also, you may not know it, but i have a degrees' in sociology, psychology and philosophy. I don't wish to be preached to by some half-baked ideailst, who believes he has found the secret to happiness...
"Happiness comes from within." That's all there is to it!
Regards R---
Do you catch the tone here? This is an angry person. Something as minor as this email set him off in a fit of name-calling and self-righteousness.

Doesn't seem very happy, does he?

And yet, he knows the secret of happiness: "Happiness comes from within."

So this guy knows the secret, but is still manifestly unhappy.

My point? Knowing isn't enough. You have to BE happy.

You can know what wealth is, and not be wealthy.

You can know what peace is, and not be peaceful.

You can know what happiness is, and not be happy.

So that's today's secret. It's not enough to have the idea of happiness. You have to BE happy.

And then (somewhat redundantly) you'll be happier.

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