Pic of the day: Conspiciously absent from the list is LOVE. And don't look at me for
more info about it ... Far as I am concerned, it's included under
"giving". Or the other way around. I think it's the same thing. I
concede it sometimes feels different, though. (Screenshot from Sims2
Well, it does. But this time I'm talking about something I saw at
They sell a small bag containing five tokens, each inscribed with a rule
for obtaining happiness. Notice that we're talking happiness here, not
pleasure or even joy. It is imperative to understand the difference.
Happiness is a long-term sense of satisfaction, that you're where you
should be, that you live the life that you meant to live.
This is all good advice, although it is pretty clearly tailored for
their customers. I'll comment briefly on each of them.
1 - Free your heart from hatred.
In theory at least, this is a central tenet in both Christianity and
Buddhism. In Christianity, forgiveness is the very foundation of the
religion, and Jesus makes it abundantly clear that God's forgiveness
won't stick if we don't forgive others. That's pretty scary and I
really hope I won't get into anything I can't forgive. Anyway, it's not
like hating people hurts them as much as it hurts you. Besides, it
clouds your mind. If nothing else then this.
2 - Free your mind from worries.
Worry is good and natural, when it prompts us to take care about things
we can do something about. People who don't worry should never be let
out in the traffic. It's when we worry about things we cannot do
anything about that it's harmful and a waste of energy. It also makes
us bad company. Usually it is possible to see right away which worry is
which. Putting your mind to rest is another matter, it may take a lot
of training even if you are mentally healthy.
3 - Live simply.
This should probably be before the previous one, as a complicated life
leads to needless worries. And let me add, a simple life isn't just
about not hoarding furniture and textiles and such, though that
certainly helps. But lies (even white lies) and hypocrisy also make life
horribly complicated, because you need to remember your lies so you can
keep them up, while at the same time also remembering real life so you
don't go stark raving mad. The more roles you play, the more
complicated your life. Lying is a highway to stress.
4 - Give more.
Well, of course they would say that! I think this kinda follows
naturally when you reduce your greed and let your thoughts dwell on what
you have rather than what you want. Trying to give while you are in a
mood of greed will cause pain and you will give it up quickly.
5 - Expect less.
This is the key to happiness, I suspect. Certainly the Buddha seems to
have thought so as well. When it comes to other people, this kinda comes
with experience, since people generally don't live up to many
expectations except that they will try to put their own spoon in every
pot they see. But life itself is not a nice momma. It will eventually
kill us, either suddenly or slowly. When we realize that there is only
one exit, we can realistically live our lives while we have them. This
is very different from a "goth" obsession with death and decay. It is
more about making an informed decision, in as much as we can do that.
In short, then: He who dies with the most toys doesn't win. He who
lives with a content and grateful heart wins, for he remains in
happiness while here. And what happens after that, is a matter of