‘We are happy Christians, all united in the Lord. We belong to one family……….’Thus go the lyrics of the hymn ‘We are happy Christians.’ We Christians are the bearers of the good news and hence we bring happiness wherever we go. However when I analyze my life I can see that it hasn’t been as easy as singing the hymn. But the important fact that I have realized is that He is always there with me (I’m sure you will also vouch for this with me) in all situations and that’s what makes the difference which makes us Christians.
In his book ‘Happiness happens by choice’ Fr. Joe mentions of a story which made me realize that happiness is an inside job. He says that once he got into a cab in New York City. They were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden another vehicle jumped in front of them. The driver of his cab applied breaks and nearly missed an accident. The driver of the other vehicle stopped his vehicle and started swearing at them. The driver of F. Joes cab did the most amazing thing i.e. he smiled and waved at him.
Obviously you and I would be surprised by this kind of behavior, so was Fr. Joe. On asking the driver, he replied saying that when people are over-burdened they look out for a place to dump their garbage. Once in a blue moon it could be you. The best thing to do is to smile and wave at such people, wish them well and move on. Doing this, one will be happier.
The vital message of this incident that comes to me is that my happiness is something I choose to live by. Nothing or no one can have control over my happiness unless I allow that person to gain control over it. Happiness is something that is very personal to me and it is a choice that I make.
Another important thing to remember is that our happiness sources must be right. Happiness found by being of service to others or by being aware of the fact that one is a child of God gives lasting happiness. On the other hand when happiness is sought by collecting things or by pleasurizing oneself, it becomes a dangerous and a temporary kind of affair. Mark Victor Hansen rightly says “Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.”
Happiness also lies in being contented. A poet writes:”As a rule, man’s a fool. When it’s hot, he wants it cool. And when it’s cool, he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not.” Seeking what we don’t have will only lead to unhappiness and misery. Happiness necessarily means being contented, satisfied and peaceful with what I am and what I have.