"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

27 April 2010

Happiness

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." -- Helen Keller

This reminds me of Joshua Wolf Shenk's writing about Lincoln, and how one stage of learning to live with melancholy is finding a purpose for which to live, a purpose that takes one out of oneself to care about something much bigger and more important, that allows one to be part of something worthy enough to give one's life to and for. One can be in the midst of deep depression and yet know true happiness if this is the case.


Personal note for those who have been praying: we plan to leave for Texas Saturday, so may or may not be in touch for a while. Thanks so much for caring.

2 comments:

barn swallow said...

"Fidelity to a worthy purpose" -- what an interesting way to describe the successful approach to happiness. I've tended to classify happiness as one of the more frivolous emotions, but this paints it in a different light.

I'm praying for you, dear teacher, and for your dad and mom during this difficult time. May God's love and presence with you be your hiding spot and your high and spacious place.

alaiyo said...

Thank you, dear heart. I can tell that people are praying if for no other reason than I've only had a couple of meltdowns this week! :)

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