Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wanted: Happiness

Yesterday, my Google Reader returned this article from Christian entitled “Americans’ Search for Happiness.” The column briefly discussed how we in the United States currently describe what gives us pleasure, as well as some of the challenges that prevent us from reaching that state of contentment. For example, when asked (as part of an ABC News poll) what made them happy, some moms from Texas listed socializing, prayer, sex, and television. Sadly, they relegated parenting to the same level as housework. Guess what? Neither of those activities induced happiness for these ladies. Unfortunately, I can’t say that was a big surprise.

This wasn’t too terribly shocking either:
Many [people] look toward the future for happiness, hoping “someday” they’ll meet that perfect person, win the lottery or retire....” That leaves the majority of Americans just enduring the present while waiting for something better to happen.
With that kind of attitude/behavior, is it any wonder that youth say this about the older generation:
“Adults have no friends, adults have no passions, and adults are stressed out.” --- Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yaconelli
Regrettably, most people gauge their happiness by their life circumstances, by what is happening around them; but are activities/events the true source of happiness? Only marginally. According to University of California psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, only 10% of our total contentment is related to our life circumstances. 50% is genetic. 40% is controlled by our thoughts, our outlook, and our intentional activities.

C.S. Lewis disagrees. For him, God was the source of happiness:
“ is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There in no such thing.”
I agree with Mr. Lewis on this one. If Americans are seeking happiness, they need look no further than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, what do you think is the true source of your happiness? Comments desired.

No comments: