Is Happiness a Choice?

I will admit I haven’t read the book titled Happiness is a Choice.  If I read it, I might find I agree with everything in it.  However, generally speaking, I don’t believe we can just choose to be happy and have it happen.  I don’t even think we can succeed in our constitutionally protected “Pursuit of happiness”.  I think directly pursuing happiness has an illusory quality like trying to find the end of the rainbow.  I think happiness is, instead, a byproduct of some other choices we make in life.  And what are they?

First, I think we have to settle an issue with our creator.  We are at odds with Him.  We may be in a struggle as to whether we even believe in our creator.  Secondly, we may be in that struggle because we don’t want to believe in our creator.  It may force us to give up the illusion that we are our own god in charge of our own affairs.  Think of the poem “I am the captain of my ship” and the song “I did it my way”.  Those thoughts are illusions.  We have no more control over tomorrow than we have over the wind, but our illusion of control is cherished like nicotine to a smoker.  If we wrestle the creator issue to the ground and have to admit He wins, then we have yet another struggle.  We owe our creator big time.  We wouldn’t be here enjoying this gift of life without the goodness of the giver.  We owe Him a big apology for the arrogant way we have treated Him.  Once we get that over with, we need to get to know Him.  What we invariably find in our growing relationship with Him is a sense of His love for us.  That will grow, and out of that sense of being loved will come a first taste of the byproduct of our choice: happiness.  The happiness will grow further as a result of a second choice.  The more we get to know this love and this Lover, the more the love builds up in us.  Love must be answered.  The only gift we can give God is worship, but we humans like something more physical and earthly in our gift giving.  Since there is no way we can touch God, and nothing He needs or wants, how can we show that tangible love?  He told us.  He said “Whatever you do for one of these children of mine, I consider it as done to me.”  So our second choice is to love those around us.  As Jesus friend John said in his epistle:  “If you can’t love your neighbor whom you can see, how can you love God whom you can’t see?”  Pretty down to earth man, that John.   I would challenge anyone to spend just a week trying to give love to those around you and see if happiness doesn’t just overtake you without your having to pursue it at all.   Have fun thanking God and loving others.  You are going to have a wonderful life.

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