A Bit About Happiness

4

December 4, 2019-

Yesterday, whilst enjoying a bowl of soup and slice of avocado toast, I was amused by a little girl running gingerly back and forth, from her father’s table to a small shelf that had toys and books.  Her happiness flowed outward-and was contagious.

There is some “back and forth”, on sites like Quora and other online places, as to the part that happiness plays in one’s life.  There are those who maintain that happiness is a goal, or rather, THE goal, of a person’s life.  Others say “No, it is triumph over suffering, that is THE goal of this life.”

I maintain that happiness is a baseline, not a goal, of life.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha would ask people “Are you happy?  If you are not happy today, for what day do you wait?”  Think of the dreariest of mornings-perhaps in the dark of winter, or on an early spring day, with cold drizzle and snow remnants, blackened by soot.  Chances are, you won’t know of this state of affairs until you get out of bed.   So, it is the mood that accompanies a person, when she or he awakes and gets up, which sets the tone.  The outward dreariness does not have to define one’s life.

Of course, physical ailments have much to do with the mood of the day, as well.  So do social circumstances.  These, however, do not have to circumvent basic happiness.  I think of my late wife, bedridden for most of her final year in this life.  Even when she was conveying her thoughts about her condition, her decline, there was an air of  contentment, that she felt caring and love coming her way-this, from a base of happiness.

There is a common theme, in many of the world’s Constitutions, that the pursuit of happiness is an inherent right of  every human being.  Happiness, though, is already latent within us.  It is obvious, in the eyes of an infant, or the joyful run of a toddler, that the state of being happy exists from the inside out.  It is much like love-and actually flows out from the love that also is basic to our existence.

Love brought us into being, sustains us through ordeals and is with us, in the end.  Happiness, whether from quotidian events or from grand experiences, is also enduringly present, if one chooses to recognize its presence.

The goal of life?  To me, that is developing one’s strengths, positive attributes, to the greatest of  one’s ability.

This Is No Game

4

August 18, 2019-

Love is not a game.

Caring for someone is a 24/7 matter.

It is not a case of projecting one’s needs onto the beloved.

It never allows for ignoring or minimizing her/his needs,

and dreams, in favour of the all-important self.

 

Leadership is not a game.

Guiding a group, region or nation is the highest calling.

It is not a case of being in the limelight, 24/7.

It is not a matter of keeping people off track.

It is not sleight of hand, or

smoke and mirrors.

 

Faith is not a game.

It does not pick and choose

which Scripture fits one’s

own pre-conceived notions.

It does not hide from what is expected.

It does not bemoan challenges,

or misfortune.

 

Life is just not a game.

Opposite, No Attraction

20

September 26, 2018, Prescott-

The opposite of love is indifference.

Hate brings energy that can,

in turn, bring changes that

generate genuine love.

That is, if the fire of hatred

does not completely immolate

the object of its wrath.

Indifference stifles all in its path,

not with fire,

but with mold,

black or green,

and rapacious.

 

 

Answers to “Getting to Know Me” Query

20

April 20, 2018, Prescott-

The day begins with the news that there will be a teacher walkout, across Arizona, next Thursday.  What that means for us, at Prescott High School, remains to be seen.

In the meantime, here are some answers to questions posed by gaillovesgod.

  • What are my strengths?
    • Faith in God
    • Steadfastness
    • Love for humanity
    • Being proactive
    • Adaptability
  • What are my short term goals?
    • Serving my school and community, for at least the rest of the academic year
    • Visiting friends and family, across the continent, between Memorial Day and July 4
  • What are my long term goals?
    • Remain faithful to the Lord God
    • Finish my work in Prescott
    • Itinerant service, through Workaway, or a like organization
  • Who matters the most to me?
    • God
  • What am I ashamed of?
    • Not treating others as I wish to be treated
  • What do I like to do for fun?
    • Hikes
    • Writing
    • Game Night with friends
    • Drum Circle
  • What new activities am I willing to try?
    • Anything that elevates the human race
  • What am I worried about?
    • Being careless
  • What are my values?                                                                                                                       Honouring human dignity                                                                                                         Developing my strengths                                                                                                             Good stewardship
  • If I had one wish, it would be…?
    • To do what God expects of me, without fail
  • Where do I feel the safest?
    • Anywhere in His Light
  • What or who gives me comfort?
    • God’s Love
  • If I was afraid, I would…?
    • Pray, and get myself into a safe place
  • What is my proudest accomplishment?
    • Having helped raise my son
  • Am I a night owl or early bird?
    • Early Bird
  • What does my inner critic tell me?
    • Bring self to account each day
  • What do I do to show my self, self-care?
    • Bathe and groom
    • Start day with devotions
    • Take natural supplements, each evening
  • Am I an introvert or extrovert?
    • Ambivert
  • What am I passionate about?
    • Life
  • What do my dreams tell me?
    • My spirit guides are with me
    • My life will unfold in a good way
  • What is my favourite movie?                                                                                                         The Fisher King
  • What is my favourite band?
    • Arcade Fire
  • What is my favourite food?
    • Fiery chili
  • What is my favourite colour?
    • Navy blue
  • What am I grateful for?
    • God’s Revelation is continuous
    • I have many good friends
    • Large extended family
    • My good health
  • When I am down, I like to:                                                                                                                 Breathe deeply
  • I know I am stressed when
  •          I start making odd mistakes
  •           I get tongue-tied

Questions Answered

18

April 1, 2018, Prescott-

I rarely post twice, in the same day and do not, as a rule go in for the online awards activities.  I have, however, promised the lovely Syllabic Symphonies that I would answer her questions.  So, here goes.

1.What is your blog about and what made you to decide to share your work?

My blog is about my life, primarily:  My Faith, my work, my travels and my take on things, large and small.

2. What is your dream ?

My dream is to explore my world, near and far.  More broadly, I dream of a world where everyone feels included and is productive, based on their interests and skills.

3. What is love to you?

Love is seeing God in all things.

4. What do you think should be a very crucial change in today’s society?

People of all ages and walks of life need to actually be included, in the overall planning and execution of civic affairs.

5. What is poetry to you?

Poetry is a versified means of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings.

6. What is your view on reincarnation?

I do not believe we continuously re-inhabit a physical form, after death.  I do believe our consciousness enters the Greater Field of Consciousness, and keeps in contact with those souls to whom one is close or to whom one is drawn.

 

7. Who is your inspiration?

Children and teens, because of their energy and because these generations will have a unique role in replenishing our planet.

8. What will you do if you’ve got only a week to live? ( Assuming everybody and everything remains exactly the same, I mean alive)

I would walk in the San Francisco Peaks, near Flagstaff.

9. What was the most depressing incident in your life?

My late wife’s second head trauma, which set in motion her decline and eventual death.

10. If you are to choose between, living an eternity and spending a year with a person who can never be yours, what would you choose?

I believe my soul is eternal, but I would not want to live in this body forever.  If THAT was the choice, I’d spend a year with someone who can never be “mine”.

11. In one word, how would you describe yourselves?

Loving


 

A Thing Called Love — Mental Stimulation

12

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”- Ann Landers Love is something that everyone experience at least once in their life. It is a feeling that […]

via A Thing Called Love — Mental Stimulation

ME:  This is a repost.  I see a lot of people tossing around the greeting “my  love”, and not meaning it in the least.  I take my friendships and feelings towards others, very seriously, very deeply.  Think about this, people.  Who are you helping, or hurting?

He Bids Us All To Arise

8

April 16, 2017, Prescott-

Today, nearly a billion people, around the world, commemorated the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ.  Many combine the sacred with the whimsical, filling baskets with candy of all sorts, making Easter the second most popular candy-eating holiday, after Halloween.  Others leave out the sacred, altogether, thus making Easter little different from the Feast of All Hallows.

Christ overlooked the faults of others, save the Pharisees, whom He scolded and the merchants in the Temple, whom He chastised more forcefully.  He was far kinder to those who committed indiscretions of the heart.

The lesson I get from this, and from His very resurrection, is that the human spirit is capable of enormous resilience.  We fall down and hurt others, either physically or emotionally, yet some of these same people could very well return to at least a modicum of friendship, over time, if we ourselves recover our moral bearings.

Christ was not only saving us, by His sacrifice.  He was also showing us, how we might save ourselves, albeit by less supreme means.  Each of us can arise, in our own way, through adhering to the Golden Rule and by making amends, for wrongs that we have done to others.

As a Baha’i, I revere Christ as Messenger of God and Supreme Teacher.  Accordingly, I know that it’s my bounden duty to serve others, both to make amends for what I’ve done wrong in this life, and out of love for them.  Love is the basis for everything the Messengers of God, from Adam to Baha’u’llah, have taught us, over the millennia. Yesterday, I had the bounty of visiting several people, at the Native American Baha’i Institute of Learning (at Houck,AZ) , in the Hopi village of Polacca and in the small Verde Valley town of Rimrock, where a longtime friend is in the fight of his life, against a crippling disease.  What I went to impart, was a very simple message:  Your life matters.

Christ said this, repeatedly, 2000 years ago. Baha’u’llah said this, repeatedly, 164 years ago.  Both gave us the admonition to say this to one another.  Both gave us the bidding to arise, to lift ourselves, and one another, out of despair and trouble.  That is the message I get from Easter.

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Palpitations

6

March 22, 2017, Prescott-

My heart was aflutter, somehow, this morning.

I felt an intense, gentle warmth, coming from an unknown source.

My thoughts went to a barely-known friend,

some distance to the southeast of here.

I felt her energy and encouragement.

Then, they went to Dad.

He’d have celebrated his ninetieth birthday, today,

had his heart not failed him,

on that warm June morning, thirty-one years ago.

Dad always wanted us to think of the sunny parts of life,

to get us through the challenges.

He never wanted any of us to give up,

and that’s largely why I’m still here.

Love is always the secret.

 

Sweetness

6

February 14, 2017, Prescott-  

It’s said that Valentine sought to safeguard marriage,

from Caesar Claudius II’s misguided bans.

Marriage outlived Claudius,

who outlived Valentine,

by design.

Love is somewhat honoured,

by candy, and flowers.

I have found it is equally honoured,

by being able to be with someone,

for hours.

They turn into years and decades,

and the returns are paid,

in spades.

I had my wonderful decades,

and wish the same to those

coming along.

No matter how one marks today,

let your love remain ever strong.

Another joy on which to hold:

Real love is never gone.

Whose Love Is It, Anyway

8

February 14, 2016, Prescott-  I spent Valentine’s Day on a trail, of which more in the next post.  Right now, I feel the need to address some concerns that came up, regarding a post I wrote on another social media site.

No, love is not physical in origin.  It is not limited to the chosen few, nor is it something that should cause rifts between friends, siblings or parents/children.  In a contentious society, such as the one we have now, such rifts often happen- over anything.

Love is a spiritual force.  It began with everything we experience with our senses, being brought into existence.  It became manifest in plants, when they propagated.  Likewise, with animals, when they procreated, then nurtured their offspring and family members.

Humans have taken love to the next level- and we see the spiritual, feel the eternal.  I have spent the past five Valentine’s Days as an observer, a well-wisher to couples, and a would-be soother to the distressed.  There have been some, including one I thought was a friend, who have attacked me for even hinting that we should treat today as a time for honouring the concept of relationships.  More’s the pity.

The fact is, most of us have been in a close friendship that, sooner or later, evolves into romance, and in many cases, marriage. Many of us, myself included, have had such friendships, and I have certainly had my share of those which “went south”.

I have had one that endured, and that’s really all that matters-in my case.  Love is eternal.  It will survive the worst of excesses, abuses and miscarriages of justice.  It can be confused with its physical manifestations of affection, and lust.  They feel good, when they are mutually accepted by both in a friendship, for a time.  Real love, coming from the spirit, feels good for all time.

Hope your Valentine’s Day went well.  If it didn’t, may you receive more love, as this year progresses.