To fill the hour

‘Happiness’ – that’s our theme for today. Been getting mighty tired recently of people telling me that ‘happiness’ should be our goal, in that simplistic, faux-enlightened way that seems to be the province of self-appointed mystics and Daily Mail readers. Complexity, richness, all those other things are out. ‘Happiness’ is the way forward – and guess what? – apparently I am not always the living, breathing epitome of it..

So, with that in mind, I have collected a few pertinent remarks. Wasn’t easy – had to sort through a veritable mountain of nauseating platitudes of the ‘power of now’ variety – but I thought these few people had some relevant things to say..

Carl Jung:

“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

Edith Wharton:

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein:

” I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.”

M. Scott Peck:

” The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

Michaelangelo:

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

Mark Twain:

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

W. Beran Wolfe:

” If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator.”

…and, as usual, I have a favourite…

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To fill the hour — that is happiness.”

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4 thoughts on “To fill the hour

  1. We have allowed ourselves to be tantalized by a carrot called ‘Happiness’. When we’re willing to sacrifice what’s precious to us, trying to out-smart the Gods and prove that we are the ones in control, our punishment is an unquenchable thirst and insatiable hunger for a manufactured ideal. Chasing someone else’s definition of happiness makes me an ass!

    A few more quotes for you-

    Jack Handey”:

    “The first thing was, I learned to forgive myself. Then I told myself, ‘Go ahead, do whatever you want, it’s OK with me.'”

    Kahlil Gibran:

    “I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the depths of my spirit, for I have seen those who are satisfied the most wretched of people. I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.”

    Ernest Hemingway:

    “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

    Joni Mitchell:

    “There’s comfort in melancholy.”

  2. A jam sesh with a flautist? Jethro Tull?

    I just wanted to say I think you’re so smart, and I’m glad you’re my friend. And correct, of course. Always correct.

  3. Twice in my life I’ve been asked, ‘Are you happy?’ The first time I felt pain, the second time I felt violent. love Jane.

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