1 EAGLETON NOTES: Thankful Thursday

.

.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Thankful Thursday

Jaz from Treacy Travels has been giving me food for thought for several years now and her post last Thursday Happiness, optimism and the Dalai Lama was no exception.  Jaz asked "Why do some find being happy so hard?" and concluded hard work was a requirement just as it was for a good marriage, a flourishing garden, a good friendship or a  fit healthy body.  She also quoted the Dalai Lama "It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come."

My immediate reaction when I read the post was that I didn't find being happy hard at all.  I'm lucky enough, I thought, to be very happy.  The more I thought about it though, the more I realised that Jaz had a very good point.  It isn't that simple.

Then along came Yvonne's post 'See Me' - the anti-stigma mental health campaign and I started to realise that not only was Jaz so right but that the degree of 'hardness' could be extreme for some people and not just because of their own illness but because of people's attitude towards it.  That was where the Dalai Lama's saying hit home for me .... develop a good attitude and heart and from this, happiness for both yourself and others will come.

So today if you are not happy think about just how much effort it will take to be happy and to make others happy too and then go and make that effort or take a tiny step along the road.

If, however, today you are happy or if you have made someone else happy with your positive attitude towards them join me in being thankful.

18 comments:

  1. My first thought here was that I guess it takes as much effort to keep oneself happy as to keep someone else happy... Then I ask myself what I mean by that, and find it hard to explain ;) But living with oneself, one has to learn how to get along with oneself, just as when being around other people, one needs to learn how to get along with them. (Now that made it much clearer, I hope!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I understand, but I'm not sure that I agree. No, I lie. I am sure and I don't agree.

      There are times when we have to 'learn to get on with people'. They may be people in our family or at work - people we choose to get along with rather than cause acrimony. However, speaking personally, there are also people whose non-existence would leave no discernible hole in my life. I'm not suggesting I'd wish them dead - just that they'd be somewhere else and not near me. Life is too short to waste time trying to keep such people happy.

      Delete
    2. You're quite correct I think Monica. One's own company is the most difficult to keep.

      Delete
    3. Marcel, I don't think anyone (except possibly the Dali Lama but then he has the bigger picture to look at) certainly not I was suggesting that we have to make everyone happy. I think the point is that we need to work at happiness for those we do care about - including ourselves. Let's face it you spent a lot of time, thought and effort some years ago in putting me back on track when life was crap and I don't suppose that I'm the only one you've helped in your personal life.

      Delete
    4. I don't know if this is supposed to be a comment on the post or on my comment... The point I was trying to make was that just as other relationships usually take some work, so does one's own relationship to onself. Because it's when one can't stand to be in the same room as oneself that one gets into real trouble...

      Delete
    5. Oops, this is getting intricate - my reply 20:52 was directed at Marcel. GB's comments dropped in while I was thinking/writing...

      Delete
    6. Twoo, Anyway, your non-existence would leave a hole in my life, so you're exempt. Cue aaaahhhhhssss.

      Delete
    7. It is complicated, Dawn Treader. That's technology - wasn't it so much simpler with only public telephone boxes..

      And my last comment was in response to Graham.

      I try to make people's day better, not actively, but for example, I don't abuse harrassed shop assistants or waiters. I think they have a hard enough life. I was that waiter. I speak to people I meet when I'm walking the dog. However, there are people, who have been part of my life and I've thought 'why am I wasting time on this'. Some, it has to be said, I decided not to.

      Delete
    8. Marcel, it probably happens to most of us in the course of a lifetime, that with some people we help keep each other mutually happier by keeping a distance.

      Delete
    9. No arguing with that Dawn Treader

      Delete
    10. Living alone, it does take effort on my part. Part of my journaling includes thinking and writing about things for which I'm grateful. GB and you are part of that.

      Delete
  2. First comment had typos. There was aspolitley no other reason for its deletion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think most folks are naturally happy, it's when life throws a curve ball, that paves the way for unhappiness.
    I am a happy person, and I love to make others happy too.
    Folks call me or visit me when they are feeling down.
    On many occasions many people have said to me that they can hear me smiling through the phone....I am always smiling or laughing....life is too short to spend it being miserable and unhappy.
    As mentioned, attitude plays a very important role in being happy....I am an optimist at heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly have the Happy Gene Virginia. That comes over in bucketsful. Perhaps it's the environment or the sun in the land that you inhabit but it seems to me that there are a great many not-so-happy and some downright miserable people around. Remember the old song "If I can help somebody as I pass along."? That's you!

      Delete
  4. well said, GB!
    notice I've a new blog and new name, please visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Norma. You don't have an email address on your profile or Google identity but if you can send me your email address (mine's on my profile) I'll send you the link to all your old posts if you haven't already got them saved. They are still available to view using Google Reader as a link.

      Delete