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Friday, July 07, 2006

How to be Happy

I have happiness in my life.
During my life I have met people that told me that they weren’t happy. They wished that they were rich or won the lottery because this would make them happy. They often said that they weren’t happy because didn’t have a relationship, or had a bad one. Or they wanted some material thing, like a car or house or whatever else that you can buy in the store.

I guess most people don’t study philosophy much anymore. People don’t read old books to learn from the past. History is there for a reason, so that we can learn from it.

About 300 BC there lived a man that came up with three rules to be happy and gain happiness in your life. And to be happy you don’t need a lot of money, a great relationship or the latest fashion from the current trendy store. No one, no amount of money or no material thing can make you happy.

Some would say that money makes you happy. Money can buy you stuff and make your life more comfortable, that in itself doesn’t make you happy. Can you tell me that every millionaire is happy?

Many people say that getting married will make you happy. Again can you tell me that every married couple is happy? I can answer this one by going to Wal-Mart. How many times have I have seen a couple argue over a price of something? Most of the time I go to Wal-Mart I witness this!

Others say that buying new things, such as clothes will make you happy. A new pair of shoes, the G.I. Joe action figure and so on will bring you happiness. How many times at Christmas do kids play with the box instead of the expensive toy that was inside it?

Does buying some stuff make you happy? If it does, for how long? And again do you know of a case of someone that buys a lot of stuff that isn’t happy?

With Socrates’ logic, if you can find one case that doesn’t support your claim, then your argument doesn’t hold water.

None of these three things can make you happy. So what does make you happy? How can you have happiness in your life?

Let us go back to about 300 BC when a man named Epicurus lived. Who is Epicurus? Never heard of him? I know he doesn’t get the press of Plato or Socrates. He did figure out three rules that led to a life of happiness as well as other important life questions.

Epicurus came up with three basic rules to be happy. Friends, freedom and thought are these basic rules.

If you have friends, then you have someone to talk to and share you thoughts with. I find it a bit disturbing that people pay so much money to psychologists or counselors. One of the signs of a good psychologist or counselor is that they listen to you talk. If you have friends, you can talk about the problems that you have in your life or share things and events together.

Freedom is also important. Not just the freedom of the government over you. The freedom to do what you want to do with your life. It is amazing that people are forced or ‘controlled’ by those that claim to love them. If you want to be a truck driver instead of going to Harvard, more power to you. I can see that most parents would pressure their offspring to go to college rather then a vocational trucking school.

Thought is something, at times, we take for granted. Everybody thinks and has thoughts. The ability for a person to reflect upon their lives is very important. And people need to have time to think. Reflection upon ones life and actions are paramount in everyone’s life. Often the best time to think and come up with thoughts is when you are alone.

And that’s it. If you have friends, freedom and thought, you can have happiness in your life. None of these cost you money. None of them require a perfect relationship. And none of them require you to go shopping.

I have all three of these in my life. My true friends are people that I can talk to about anything. If I need to talk, I can call or email them at anytime. They often do the same when they need to talk to me.

Freedom is something that I’ve had my whole life. I had independence as a child since my parents knew that they could trust me. And when I decided what I wanted to do in my life, I got nothing but support from them.

Thought and reflection are a part of me. I count my creativity as a part of this. If you listen to my songs, music, watch my movies or read my plays or poetry, there is a lot of thought and reflection that goes into them. To know me is truly to know my opus. I get to spend a lot of time alone working on my art and I'm smiling the whole time.

Since I have these three in my life, I am happy. And I can truly say that I’m happy and I don’t need anyone, money or stuff to give me happiness. I already have it. And now I hope that you will have happiness too in your life. Thank you Epicurus.

And here are three Emo-Folk-Nerd-Rock music videos for you.
I hope they will bring you some joy and happiness in your life!

The Music Videos:
Your Crime, My Crime
I Don’t Need You Anymore
You are Only Alone

Here are the mp3s to put on your mp3 player:
Your Crime, My Crime mp3
I Don’t Need You Anymore mp3
You are Only Alone mp3

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