Thursday, February 26, 2015

Relationships and Happiness

Korea is in the top ten of the  economically developed countries, but one of the lowest in the index for happiness. This uncomfortable fact motivates many to  express their opinions on the subject; a religious sister writes on the issue in a diocesan bulletin.

Sister teaches the mothers of children who are preparing for First Communion, and one of her questions for the mothers: Are you  happy?  When she asked this question one mother began to cry. Why was she crying? asked the sister, it was the first time in her life she was asked the question. Sister tells them that on a scale of 1 to 10, where would they be. If it is  low she  recommends  they take a  trip  like Hector in the novel: Hector and the Search for Happiness.                                                                                                                                      
Hector is a psychiatrist who finds that he can't do much to help people who come to him and he himself is not happy with the situation. Hector takes a trip around the world to learn what makes people happy.  

He made a list of  what he found during his trip that added to happiness. The first on the list is not to  compare yourself with others. 7) Be with those who want to be happy. 13) Feeling that you are of help to others. 20) A special attitude towards life. 23) Interest in the happiness of others. 

When the doctor returned home he began living out what he learned. He realized how happy he was, and enjoyed sharing what he had learned, which gave him more happiness.

Sister, made her own list of what makes her happy and what doesn't. She  doesn't judge  others for their failures; doesn't compete or envy another, and makes an effort not to  hurt another, and when she does, she apologizes.

We are  made to live in community because we are created after the image of God: the community which is God--Trinity. It is in relating with others that we  will find happiness.  We have been made to partake in the life of the Trinity here and hereafter: our aim and purpose in life. How we relate with God and others is important.

We are not on this earth to be a maverick;  to do things our way without concern for others. God wants us to relate in the way he relates. When we confess the Trinitarian  Godhead, and live its teaching, we find happiness.