A Time of Happiness

It is a time of happiness.  After thinking about times of sorrow, it seems right that we should reflect on the times of happiness in our lives.  It is easy to forget the times of happiness when we are feeling pain or sorrow. As in the sorrows in our life, most of the things that bring us the greatest happiness have to do with people.  Money, possessions, material goods and things never bring true happiness. 
Karen and I have gone on many trips over the years to other countries. We have been to over 33 countries and almost all of the US and Canada.  On several of these trips (but not all) we have been fortunate to make friends with people. Sometimes, it has been with local people we met accidently and other times it was with people we stayed with or did some business with on our trip.  Without a doubt, the trips where we met people have been our most fun, memorable and happiest trips. Sartre is reputed to have written that: “Hell is other people.” Perhaps this is true at times but it is even truer that “Happiness is other people.” People bring us the joy and pleasure in our lives.  People create the warmth and empathy that validate our existence and our undertakings. Things and objects do not validate or create warmth or support. When you are down or feeling depressed, you cannot talk to your car or boat or house. When you want to feel recognized for something you have accomplished, your things will not provide such recognition.
Whether it is your family, your children, your spouse or your friends, there is hardly a day that goes by when you are not thinking about them, playing with them or working with them in some way.  All of these interactions are what life is really about.  It is not about richness in things, it is about richness in people.  The time that we spend with people brings happiness and joy to our lives. True, people can disappoint, hurt and disrespect you, but eventually you move on and look for new relationships or you try to rebuild and make your old relationships better.  The time that you spend building relationships with people will be rewarded many times over. Would we spend so much time on relationships if people truly were hell? 
Think about all the happiness in your life today.  Think about your past happiness.  Who has helped to bring joy to your life? What relationships do you need to spend more time on?  What relationships need to be changed?  Spending time on relationships will be the most valuable time you can ever spend. 
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