Thursday, January 12, 2006
Happiness is a conscious choice
To some it's obvious that happiness is a conscious choice. But apparent though it may be, how many people internalize that concept? Let me provide an example and you can see if you have any relation.
You're make a trip in the car, out of your way, to the post office because you need 2-cent stamps. A whopping fifty of them will cost you $1. But the automated dispensing machines are all broken or sold out. And your mind wanders off... "Damn this red-tape spouting government entity. If they made $1.6 billion in profit last year then why can't they hire another employee to stock the machines and make a call to the vendor to fix the broken ones?" You know how it goes. On and on, usually. "I shouldn't have to wait in line for this. I can't believe the post office is always this crowded. Why do people take so fucking long to mail their damn packages?"
You realize that waiting in line for 20 minutes for a $1 purchase is assinine. And yet you really want to send those letters that have piled up on your desk at home. Some are bills and damnit, they need to get into the post.
But just maybe you don't have anywhere else to be really. You aren't as unfortunate as the 87 year old woman who looks downright uncomfortable waiting in the car for her grand-daughter to get the hell out of the post office. Looking to your left you see an very content woman in her early 70's. She looks poised, self contained and not the least bit rattled that her number in line is probably a 30 minute wait. What is she doing to make peace with the world around her? What is she thinking. And then you remember, "Happiness is a conscious choice. Rusty told me that just the other day."
You internalize that happiness is a conscious choice. "I have no place else to be and certainly no reason to rush there if I do," you tell yourself. And things suddenly settle down. The rush of 2 minutes ago is all but vaporized. A gentleman in his mid-forties sits on the waiting bench next to you and looks friendly. You strike up a conversation. Turns out he needs stamps too. His wife came the other day and waited in line outside in her car so long that the post office closed 3 minutes before she arrived inside. You imagine how ANGRY she must have been. But he looks so calm. He looks patient and happy. So you ask him, "Hey, it would save me 5 minutes if you could take my $1 bill and buy me 50 stamps in addition to the ones you're already purchasing." He mulls it over for a second and says, "Yah, no problem."
You get your stamps about 5 minutes later. You smile. And you give your number in line to the very content woman next to you which, in turn, will save her 10 minutes of waiting. She thanks you and smiles too. And the cosmic juices are flowing now. Because you chose to be happy. That attracted happy people. That attracted good 'karma' (indulge me here) and that resulted in a better day for everyone.
Does it really work that way? You tell me.