Healing: "Walk the Talk" to Happiness
What to cultivate on our path to greater happiness.
Recently, the world lost Britain’s last WW I veteran, Henry Allingham. And, with him, went a lot of institutional cultural living memory. He had outlived his friends, his wife and even his daughter. His wife, Dorothy, died back in 1970 and his daughter, Jeanne, in 2001. He grieved, waiting to die, according to accounts by his friends.
Yet, upon making a new friend, Dennis Goodwin, who saw his societal worth as a living long memory, he found purpose again. To his credit, even in the last decade of his life, Henry began speaking to anyone who would listen. He gave interviews and talked to youth groups. He spoke most about one subject passionately: war must be avoided for it brings too much sorrow and that “we must honor the best of us who give their all for the rest of us to live well.” He wanted their memories to live on and they did – through him.
One of the beauties of coming from a family of very long-lived people is that you don't lose the institutional memory of historical events. Another plus is that you don't lose what former generations taught in the way of good character, something Henry stressed repeatedly to the youth of his nation. What is in fashion in one generation is often out of fashion in the next and, so, we lose the cultural continuity of good values without people like Henry to remind us.
Family: the good, the bad and the ugly of character
Like in any family there were those in mine who were, well, slugs, when it came to good character. What can I say? The truth is the truth. Or, as is what is popular today: “It is what it is.” To a person they lived miserable anti-social lives, unhappy the majority of the time because they focused too much upon themselves. In my book there is nothing wrong with being good to your self. Just try to make the same good faith effort for others as you would your self . Your life and theirs are enriched!
Twittering and Blogging in Ancient Japan :)
Blogging as ultimate social site
For instance, I enjoy writing all these many blogs. It gives me a creative outlet for color, design and writing about anything and everything that interests me in this world of awesome wonders. Writing these blogs also gives me a chance to share with others as if these blogs were the ultimate social site of sharing! By sharing with others a person can enrich the lives of others while they enrich their own.
From the family dog: "Live simple; live happy!"
Joy as concept of good character
Then comes the Joy as was taught in previous generations like in Henry’s… So, I guess, I’ll try to pick up where Henry left off. His was an eternal message and a poignant reminder of how to be a happy person and build a better society as a result of cultivating Joy. This kind of Joy has lain dormant for the past 25 years or so, drowned out by business greed and the drive to unbalanced excessive and financial-only success.
There are a lot of facets to the concept of success. Monetary wealth and accumulation is only a small part of the equation. This much power, and large wealth, requires the learning of real wisdom in order to not destroy your own life. I could get into what the ancient Kabbalists have to say about the power inherent in money and how to prepare for basically trying to grab a tiger by the tail but that would be another very long write! :)
Happiness and Joy create lasting friendship
Global Society and Happiness
Henry’s story – and his passing - made the global news. That’s a good thing. His passing is a reminder to us all to live better - by doing better. He was “walking the talk” down to his last breath and you just have to admire his purity of heart, tenacity of will and generosity of spirit. Perhaps it's time for global society to rediscover some of the ancient wisdom of Henry’s time and past societies, learning to appreciate the success of others as well as their own. Happiness can be an elusive creature to those who are calculating and refuse to dig deep into their hearts and offer up greater generosity to those around them. Generosity of spirit goes a long way to creating a much happier life! Here’s what Goethe had to say on the subject of happiness.
Famed German writer Goethe at age 69
Quote by Goethe
“Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t'were his own.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832)
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