Posted by: Jivani Lisa | November 24, 2012

The Search for Happiness

I watch TV – usually The Weather Channel – while using the treadmill at the gym.  This week, I saw a commercial (presumably for a toy store, although I wasn’t paying complete attention) showing various young children smiling and hugging their new toys.  The commercial ordered me (the viewer) to “make them [the children] happy.”  The children certainly looked happy clutching their brand new toys.  The commercial repeated:  “Make them happy.  What could be more important than that?”

I agree that happiness is important.  However, it seems obvious to me (although I might be crazy) that we can’t “make” anyone happy.  True happiness begins with contentment and gratitude which can only be found within oneself.  If we wish to try “making” our children – or anyone else – happy, we should try teaching them how to connect to the contentment, peace and joy they carry within themselves at all times.  (Of course, we already need to know how to connect with our own inner happiness before we can teach anyone else.)

Toys don’t really make anyone happy.  Even computers, iPhones, cars and houses don’t really make people happy.  Sure, people might feel happy with these items – but honestly, for how long?  Most people are happy for hours or days, maybe weeks at the most.  Then the so-called happiness dissolves; the novelty wears off.  We find ourselves searching for the next thing to make us or our loved ones “happy.”

The good news is we can stop this vicious cycle any time we choose.  The holiday season is a great time.

Contentment, gratitude and happiness come from having our basic necessities met – and from feeling loved and valued as human beings.  Instead of buying more “stuff” for our dear ones, we can:
* Spend more quality time with them;
* Take them places to experience something fun and educational;
* Show them how to take good care of themselves physically, mentally and spiritually;
* Teach them the joy that comes from serving others through volunteer work.

During this busy season of the year, let us take time each day to be quiet – and in that quiet, connect to the peace, love, joy (and yes, happiness) that dwells within us.  Let us be grateful.  Then, we can “gift” our loved ones with our presence, our example, and our encouragement to connect with their own inner contentment.


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