The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.
― Gordon B. Hinckley,
My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
First, I apologize for the long silence. Some days, when my heart is very heavy, it is better not to burden you. Know that even on those days — no, especially on those days — you are nearest to my heart.
Second, I am sorry if this is a repeat. I harp on this because it is a lesson of utmost import.
Too often, people complain about how miserable are their lives. Yet, if asked, you would find that, nine times out of ten, those miserable individuals spend most of their time focusing on themselves, on making themselves happy.
One of those great ironies of life is that the more you chase happiness, the more elusive you will find it. We are ultimately “black holes” … vacuous, empty spaces that can never be filled. Why? The answer is simple: we are built to adapt. Thus, what once brought us joy (e.g., a new pair of jeans, a new toy, a new car, etc.) quickly became the new normal. We adapt to the novel. In time, that new BMW becomes just another car. Your eye will be on the newest model, or even a different car. Thus, the chase for happiness is ultimately a losing proposition. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/07/magazine/the-futile-pursuit-of-happiness.html?pagewanted=print.
Unfortunately, this is the American way. Don’t fall for it. (There are a lot of great things about America; however, this is not one of them.) The “it’s-all-about-me” mentality leads not happiness, but to certain loneliness. We have fewer friends. More people are eating Thanksgiving meal by themselves. Don’t be like that.
Be kind. Help those less fortunate than you, even if it is with just a smile and a kind word. Volunteer. I promise, you will be happier for it.
All my love, always and forever,