Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The first chapter begins
We tend to think we owe to ourselves to be as happy as we can be. But happiness is far more than a personal concern. It is a moral obligation.There it is in a nutshell. Of course lightheartedness is a virtue, and a Christian virtue to boot.
After one of my talks on happiness, a woman in the audience, stood up and said, "I only wish my husband had come to this talk." (He had chosen to attend a talk on buiness instead.) She explained that he was the unhappy one in their relationship and that as much as she loved him, i was not easy being married to an unhappy person.
The women enabled me to put into words what I had been searching for -- the alturistic, in addition to the obvious personal reasons to take happiness seriously. I told the woman and the audience that she was right; her husband should have attended the talk because he had a moral obligation to his daily partner in life to be as happy as he could be.
Phil 2:3-4 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.Heaviness, unhappiness, is indeed a burden to those around us, and therfore certainly representa a lack of virtue because of that burden. By contrast, lightheartedness, happiness is a measure of faith:
Heb 10:34 - For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.Of course, many of us so doggedly pursue faith as to take all the joy out of it. But that is the beauty of being Reformed - even our faith is supplied, we do not pursue, we accept.
And in accepting, we gain happiness.
Related Tags: lightheartedness, G.K. Chesterton, happiness, Dennis Prager, virtue