Hugh MacLeod at GapingVoid.com had a great post today asking folks for their ‘manifestos'. Thanksgiving inspired me to write mine on happiness. Here's what I wrote and what Hugh posted (with a couple grammatical edits and Hugh's wonderful illustration!):
Peb kab lis kev cai tsis sib haum nrog cov lus uas coj peb mus taug txoj kev ntawm kev rhuav tshem tus kheej. Kev zoo siab yog sib txig nrog cov khoom peb tsis muaj ... lub tsheb, nyiaj, 6-pob abs, khoom plig, kev ua neej, lossis tsuas yog muaj dej qab zib. Kev paub yog sib npaug nrog kev muaj nyiaj, txawm tias yog nce los yog muaj raws caj ces. Nov yog kab mob ntawm peb kev coj noj coj ua, qhia peb tias peb yeej tsis ntse ib zaug, tsis muaj nyiaj muaj txiaj, tsis muaj txaus li.
Kev tshaj xov xwm lom zem rau peb nrog cov dab neeg ntawm kev nplua nuj, kev sib deev, kev ua txhaum, thiab lub zog - txhua yam khoom uas yuav ua rau peb lossis lwm tus raug mob ntau dhau. Peb tsoomfwv txawm koom nrog qhov tsis yog, ua rau peb poob kua muag. Txhua cov lus tshaj tawm thiab kev lag luam txhua qhov zoo ib yam, “Koj yuav zoo siab thaum”.
We are not happy with our spouses, so we get divorced. We're not happy with our homes, so we relocate our families and buy bigger until we can't afford them. We shop until our credit is used up and we go bankrupt. We are not happy with our jobs, so we join in hurtful politics to try to accelerate our promotions. We're not happy with our employees so we hire new ones. We're not happy with our profits, so we let faithful employees go.
We are a culture of individuals who are told that hording is the best path to happiness. The grass is always greener – the next girlfriend, the next home, the next city, the next job, the next drink, the next election, the next, next, next… We are never taught to be happy with what we have now. We must have it, and have it now. That's when we'll be happy.
Since it's only possible for the selected few to have it all, the bar is always higher than we can reach. We can never achieve happiness as defined by our culture. How do we cope? We medicate. Illicit drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, tobacco are all necessary and popular since they take the edge off of our unfulfilled lives.
Qhov tseeb, peb nyob saum ntiaj teb. Peb yog cov thawj coj nrog txhua yam ntawm kev ua tiav uas kab lis kev cai ntsuas ntsuas tawm tsam. Peb muaj cov tub rog uas muaj zog tshaj plaws, cov peev txheej zoo tshaj plaws, kev lag luam loj tshaj plaws, thiab cov neeg muaj peev xwm tshaj plaws.
Txawm li cas los xij, peb tsis zoo siab.
Don't rely on anyone or anything outside your own self to drive your happiness. It is up to no one but you. When you own your happiness no one can steal it, no one can buy it, and you don't have to look elsewhere to find it. But you can give some away anytime you would like!
God bless you and yours this fantastic Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is 1 day out of a year. Perhaps we should have “Self-giving” and reverse our calendar. Let us spend the rest of the year being happy with what we have and one day spoiling ourselves with what we don't have. Let us be happy with our family, our children, our home, our job, our country and our lives.
Koj yuav muaj kev zoo siab… thaum koj pom muaj kev zoo siab nyob rau hauv koj tus kheej.