Happiness and Happy Lake Tahoe SnowmanDecember 28, 2008 at 12:42 am | Posted in Gratefulness, Happiness | Leave a comment
Tags: Christmas, Forgiveness, Gifts, Giving, Goodness, Gratitude, Happiness, Snow, Snowman, Thanks
We found this cheerful fellow at the lakeside while out walking in the wonderful fresh, deep snow today. Happy Snowman will last as long as the freezing temperatures do, and remembering the thaw began this afternoon with a steady drip-drip-drip, seeing him again this evening tempts me to spill the beans on happiness before his time has passed forever. Hmmm … I have more positive thinking to do on this topic, so I’ll only give you a brief taste of what is on my mind here and now.
To put you in the picture, one of our children attends a school in England where Happiness classes are given, and recently I attended Tal Ben-Shahar‘s outstanding lecture there for parents and colleagues. As the famous Harvard professor signed his book Happier, I mentioned that I was intrigued to know why other people are not happier, and, as a generally contented person myself, would appreciate understanding why others are not, and what I could do to help them. (His answer was not a surprise.)
On Christmas Day, I watched the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast from afar, and was struck by her reflections on the happiest people she has observed as being those who were “outgoing”: I understand this word in the sense of “going out of their way to do something good for someone else” rather than being extroverts, because it’s clear that quiet and unassuming folk are like an invisible force for good in the world. (There are loads of unsung heroes whose seemingly tireless efforts are taken for granted.)
Finally, yesterday, I listened to the conversation on KQED Forum about happiness and flow with two authors, whose names you can discover, and whose interview you can download, at the link if you are really interested.
In my opinion the positive approach involves giving gifts graciously while travelling to your destination: giving and receiving and forgiving are all connected with the way we handle thanks, love, affection, attention and time, along the way. Our journey need have very little to do with money, but in some respects, money often displaces other offerings as a currency for life’s relational transactions, and this substitution is sad.
On that note, I am pleased that WordPress is free, photography is cheap (once you have a camera!), and walks in the countryside cost little more than a warm set of clothes on a cold day, so we can keep in touch with each other around the world at very low cost if we make the time to do so 😉