Yup, another year gone by, another circle around the sun (Rodney Crowell). I’m finding all sorts of reasons to celebrate today. For one thing, Spring’s arrived on the prairie, no question about it. That’s a joy all in itself.
Today on my birthday I’m contemplating the nature of happiness in its many forms. Please join me in considering these 5 ways of finding happiness:
1) Happiness Through Creativity-Today’s happiness: finishing the Black Swan commission.
2) Happiness In Retrospect -as laid out by the Athenian sage Solon, to an unlucky Croesus and recorded in The Histories (5th Century BC) by Herodotus :
“He who possesses great store of riches is no nearer happiness than he who has what suffices for his daily needs, unless it so hap that luck attend upon him, and so he continue in the enjoyment of all his good things to the end of life. For many of the wealthiest men have been unfavoured of fortune, and many whose means were moderate have had excellent luck. Men of the former class excel those of the latter but in two respects; these last excel the former in many.
The wealthy man is better able to content his desires, and to bear up against a sudden buffet of calamity. The other has less ability to withstand these evils (from which, however, his good luck keeps him clear), but he enjoys all these following blessings: he is whole of limb, a stranger to disease, free from misfortune, happy in his children, and comely to look upon. If, in addition to all this, he end his life well, he is of a truth the man who may rightly be termed happy. Call him, however, until he die, not happy but fortunate. He who unites the greatest number of advantages, and retaining them to the day of his death, then dies peaceably, that man alone, sire, is, in my judgment, entitled to bear the name of ‘happy’.”
3) The Jack Lalanne School of Happiness– eat healthy, unprocessed food, exercise regularly, and most of all, keep smiling! Thanks to GTD in Academia via Boing Boing.
4) Be a Golden Retriever. The unbridled happiness of a silly dog with a brand new Woobie. This one can’t be achieved, it must be born into.
5) The Happiness You Make- Dance, sing, play, listen, smile, laugh, go a little nuts. Watch this video of swing-era Argentine guitarist Oscar Aleman, you’ll get the idea.
And a big Happy Birthday to Aretha Franklin, Flannery O’Conner, and of course, my niece Grace.