Friday, August 13, 2010

Are You Happy?

"If I seem so happy to you, you could never say anything that would please me so much. For men are made for happiness, and anyone who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, 'I am doing God's will on earth.'" Father Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
The Elder Zossima says this when a woman tells him he seems happy and it struck home with me. Could his statement be true?
I do know the older I get and the more I see, the less I take being happy for granted. Another quote I really like about being happy is the opening line in Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
(Just hit me that both of these are Russian authors and yet the Russian authors are never thought of for their happiness. Could it be that happiness is more thought of where it's not as plentiful?)
Is that true about the happy and unhappy families? I kind of think it is and maybe that makes happiness appear simple or uncomplicated. Maybe that is why it's so underrated as a goal for a life or a family.
What if our goal was to be happy and then we looked and listened to those folks around us who are truly happy? Would you know where to even look? And after a look would we say, "Aw, that's too easy. Too simple."
Ever seen that sign that says something like, "If you're happy, you obviously don't understand the situation." How incredibly enlightened and clever.
How incredibly sad.

No comments: