EDITORIAL March 25, 2014 | Life with all its twists and turns is actually a ritual of daily events that collectively becomes the definition of who and what we are. Buddhism does not paint life with a scary picture of hell the way Christianity portrays the official residence of the fallen angels. Hell can actually be right here on earth as experienced by a very bad and evil person. That person doesn’t need to die to experience hell.
The Bible is clear also on this: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23 (NIV). We can see some parallels between Christianity and Buddhism in this area.
In the first place not all people are religious. In the speed of how things have become in our modern lives, a new pop culture have created new “gods” to usher them into a new realm of make believe if only to give themselves a form of anaesthesia. Every day the call for doing much more than we did from the past have become so overwhelming that at the end of the day most of us are tired.
This kind of feeling starts to suck the happiness out of our lives and we find pleasure in the “stuff” that we have accumulated and surrounded ourselves within the comfort of our homes. We are no longer engaging except via the internet, social media and texting.
Have you every received a written mailed letter from a friend or relative? Really? God bless you if you got one! The more we allow ourselves to be wired electronically with our tablets, screens and other tech stuff, we are depriving ourselves with the choice of becoming happy by engaging personally with those that are closest to our hearts and minds.
We should not be living just to be “alive” but we should also strive for “happiness”. While this may become a very touchy subject, once again it boils down to what is your happiness level and what are your pursuits for happiness.
In her book, “Eat, Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert wrote: “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
Living and existing are two different things. Happiness that fill our eyes is far different than the happiness that fill our hearts. The choice is ours. God’s purpose and intent is so simple that the complications had been largely created by us and the institutions that surrounds us.
I have talked to a lot of people I meet and many of them have different versions of happiness, But it seems to me that a lot more people are just existing and not living. Being happy and alive might seem to be a tall order but there are so many examples around us. In fact many of the examples that I have seen are so simple and not full of “stuff”.
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“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
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