Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Possiblity of the Good Life

Competition is a word we hear often and most of the time used negatively in Korean Catholic thinking. In the column devoted to  the making of a culture of life in the Peace Weekly, the writer considers competition as having a very negative effect on our happiness.

Even when we have all that is necessary for life, we are not always happy. In our society, many have a superabundance of the good things, and still not the happiness they want. When success is the goal, there are always some who will be more successful; money is often a means to more money and not a way of enjoying leisure, and time with those they live with.

We all have a different idea of what the good life should be, many sacrificing everything in search for it. We compare ourselves to others and try to reach and overreach them by any means available, and at the same time, tiring and stressing ourselves in the process. 

There are many who have all that is necessary for the good life but have many internal scars and sickness of the heart that prevents them from enjoying what they have. Enjoying a great deal of success, some can't dismiss the lingering attachment to other possibilities in their life. The weariness and the desire to better themselves operate against the present happiness they should have.

This spirit of competition in the life of many diminishes the spirit, gives birth to jealousy, and depresses us. The person we have become, we do not like.

This way of looking at who we are is far from what the reality should be. We are God's masterpiece and one of a kind; not  one that  should be compared to another. It is finding who we are to be that will bring happiness into our lives. God is leading us now, we are God's work, and once that realization enters our consciousness things will begin to change.

In life, there are times when all is upside-down, we don't know where to go. At those times we should stop and reflect and let God direct our path. We are breathing, we  have life; it's a great gift, a blessing, a miracle--reason enough for gratitude.  

College exams, finding work, desiring a promotion--all the many ways we are  in competition with our friends and colleagues consume too much of our precious time. In our Church society we try to promote a warm and friendly community--one that will help us overcome the negative influences of the competitive society we live in.

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