It's OK to be Happy

by phil on Monday May 5, 2003 10:12 AM

(Picked up one of those $1.29 minibooks from the grocery store, didn't read it, just the quotes)

"We do not remember days. We remember moments." - Cesare Pavese

"Happiness is like a butterfly. When you pursue it, it is always beyond your grasp. But when you sit down, it may alight upon you." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." - Victor Borge

"Happiness sneaks through a door you didn't know you left open." - John Barrymore

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

"Happiness is a state of mind." - My dad, anonymous, (not in book, but relevant)

"If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment." - Georgia O'Keefe

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on." - Robert Frost

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." - Eddie Cantor

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust

"Happiness is like jam. You can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself." - Mark Twain

"The reason angels can fly is they take themselves so lightly. - G.K. Chesterton

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." - Benjamin Franklin

"I can only think of one thing greater than being happy, and that is to help another be happy, too." - Jim Thomson

"I don't go by the rule book. I lead from the heart, not from the head." - Princess Diana

"Action may not bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action." - Benjamin Disraeli

"We all live with the objective of being happy. Our lives are different and yet the same." - Anne Frank

I always found it difficult to endorse "being happy" as a goal. The internal invocation, "Phil, be happy" only came up in times of great distress. Otherwise, making personal happiness a priority seemed to be a little bit selfish. I'd always have my conscience counter with, "what about the kids in Africa." Others include, well, maybe happiness is not as important as let's say, glory, honor, victory, success. Or what about other people's happiness and not my own.

I do hold a categorical imperative at this moment, but it's hard to describe, it's almost redundant, just like the maxim "Everything in moderation." -- Because if something was truly an excess for you, then why would you do it? I guess the human system isn't perfect.

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