Monday, October 6, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

So, I was talking with Mom this morning, and she was telling me to get on with school (imagine that!), and how did I respond?
"Men are that they might have joy."

Oh yeah, it says it right in the scriptures! 2nd Nephi 2:25! Oh! What now?!

Ahem... As I practically dislocate my shoulder... ow...

Anyway, never mind that I am in pain, I shall recover!

Right, so the whole verse is; "Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy."
Well, what about women? I'm pretty sure we're included in this. "Men" can be a very general term. This is assuming that Nephi was using it in reference to mankind, which I'm sure that he was.

Well, that brings us to a very intriguing question; What is happiness?

Let's look!

The dictionary definition is; "A state of well-being and contentment" or "a pleasurable or satisfying experience."

But what makes people happy?

Everyone is different, so everyone would give you a different answer. My answer would be reading a good book, especially if it's spiritual. The Spirit makes me happy, and I feel good inside when I read something that clicks with the Spirit. (If you don't know what I mean, pick up a Book of Mormon!)
Okay, missionary moment over... whatever! You get the idea, right?

Chocolate makes me happy, too. But I'm not just talking about 'here and now' happiness. That isn't true happiness (even if you think so), because it doesn't last. The 'forever' happiness may not make you happy at first, but, someday, you'll be happy because of the choice you made.

Example? Okay, if you insist.

A college degree -- Even if you aren't happy while you're in college earning your diploma, you should feel a certain degree (no pun intended) of satisfaction when you finally get it and get a good job that you enjoy.

Children -- These strange creatures can be the cutest and most annoying things on the face of the Earth, but you really can't help but love them. They're so innocent (well, MOST of the time ^-^) and sweet (sometimes...) and adorable, even if they aren't so adorable when they grow up. They're also brutally honest, mostly because they don't yet understand the concept of 'kissing up' and 'what not to say'. You may think that when they're grown, you'll be happy. But you'll find yourself missing the laughter. (and that's when the grandkids come! BWAHAHA!! I think that's why so many grandparents spoil their grandchildren. It's like a second parenthood, with less restrictions!)
Doing a good deed -- It may be tedious at first, but, if you have a friend with you, then it becomes more fun. If you are by yourself, then you use your imagination! The satisfaction of doing a good deed lasts a long time, and, in hindsight, you'll see that it strengthened your character, and that will make you happy! (I sound like one of those cheesy soap opera psychiatrists, but that's what I think)
Not smoking or drinking -- It might seem fun at first, but it's awful. We'll start with smoking.

Smoking -- I'm going to show you a few pictures (because I just figured out how to post them! :) I'm so smart!)

Seriously, does anyone REALLY want to breathe that stuff? And look what it does to your lungs!

Ewww... Left is what they're SUPPOSED to look like. On your right is what they look like after smoking enough.
Drinking -- Don't do it. It ruins your liver. You get hangovers, which I'm pretty sure are very unpleasant (not that I would know. I'm getting most of this off of a website.). It messes up your eyesight and coordination, and I'm just scratching the surface here. A lot of deaths are caused by people driving drunk (which is illegal, by the way) and it's just blind luck if they get away with it. The only reason that alcohol was even allowed to continue being manufactured was that it became even more toxic when made illegally.
But, I digress...
David says that happiness is:
Games -- Understandable, seeing as he's eleven (going on twelve... sniff...) But, really, I know you're expecting me to delve deeper and tell you a spiritual reason for why games give happiness. Well... I will!
Multi-player games allow for bonding time between siblings, or cousins, or friends, or even parents! Indeed; most parents are NOT fun-hating, evil, shriveled OLD people who want nothing more in life than to make you miserable, otherwise, they'd let you do all that late-night, party stuff, and wear that lame sweater when it's chilly outside. Trust me, these things bring happiness later on.
True love -- It makes you happy. I don't know much about love, since I'm not even old enough to date, but I've read the books, and I've seen my newly-wed cousin, Renee and her husband, Travis. Actually, they've been married for two or three years now and have two little girls, but they're still in love. (Daddy says that that won't last much longer. He's joking, though. I think.)
Learning -- Don't you ever feel so satisfied that you've learned something new and you just can't seem to stop thinking about it? I LOVE that feeling! I'll learn a new word just to get it! It's such an awesome sensation!
Anything else... Come on, voices in my head! What makes me happy?
Driving me nuts? That's an odd... HEY! Not funny, voice!
But, I digress... AGAIN.
Friends -- Friends are there to support you. They spend time with you and make you laugh. Even when you make a mistake, good friends always forgive you if you make it clear that you're sorry. Friends are joy.
Hey! I just figured it out! Happiness is...
Just kidding. Sorry, but I couldn't resist! ;)
Anyway, Mom says that happiness is:
Obedient children -- That is both short and long term happiness. When they obey, they're safe, and they don't give you a headache. They also learn whatever it is that you're trying to teach them! (And besides, they can't disobey their mother! She can ground you until you're EIGHTY!!!)
Music -- Music can be uplifting or depressing, depending on what you listen to. But no matter what, it's always best to listen to music that's clean. No explicit lyrics, no questionable references... you know what I mean. (Now I sound like I'm teaching a lesson in church...)
Beautiful things -- Like art, or a flower garden, or a colorful bird, or a sunset! (or sunrise, if you like getting up early enough. Someday I want to watch the sun rise over the ocean. I'm gonna hate myself for getting up until I see it, though.) How about a cathedral? Or a painting? Or a well-groomed horse? Or maybe even a snake, if you like reptiles! Or a passionfruit! Or a bird of paradise? Xanadu? Atlantis? Long walks on the beach? Rainbows? On bubbles? What do you think is beautiful? (Maybe I oughta go into the sappy-comment business? What do you guys think?)
This post is getting rather lengthy. I'm enjoying this! Maybe I'll continue it in another post... if it makes me happy! ;)
This post dedicated to
David and Mom
for their inspiration
and to the prophet Nephi
for giving me the scripture I needed to write this
and to the prophet Joseph Smith
for restoring to the world what I believe in
and to the current prophet, President Monson
for carrying on the work
and to Adam
who fell that men might have joy!
And who could forget
my much-beloved grandparents (especially Pa)
for loving me endlessly and sending me birthday money! ^-^
This post brought to you by
--the Lioness

1 comment:

lotusloq said...

I'd be happy if you'd do your math and schience!!! A on the writing for the day.