No right to be happy?

"Happy Self" for spasmicallyperfect

“I am officially tired of being happy”, I said to a friend the other day.

I have carried this thought around me for a few weeks now.  A series of events have challenged my belief around remaining optimistic. 

How can I hold onto optimism, gratitude, hope, love, happiness around people whose lifes have been invaded by some dark and heavy cloud? How can I hold onto all above when I find myself guilty of causing such darkness? Somehow the  ‘I haven’t pulled the trigger’-line no longer seems to cut it. Yes, I am only one grain of sand in one of the thousands of beaches around this world, and therefore my impact is small. But it is still an impact. Yes, I don’t go around setting guns to people’s heads and shooting. But my actions are found somewhere in the long chain of events and circumstances that lead up to other people suffering. How I treat people – not just my friends. How I treat nature – not just in the conservation parks. How I spend my money – not just the money towards charity. You get the picture.

Maybe it’s not that I am tired of being happy. Maybe it’s because I can’t justify being happy, when so much of the world’s population isn’t. Or maybe, maybe I don’t feel I’ve earned the right to be happy, even less ‘preach’ happiness, optimism, hope, love, gratitude.

The Universe seems to have caught my questions, so as I settle in the couch tonight, ready to relax my head and enjoy the season opener of CSI Miami, I can’t find the right station. Instead I land on a panel discussion with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Various Americans from Media, Business, Science and Politics are sharing their take on the world today, more accurately where we as Humans need to make some changes.

Waiting for his Holiness to share some wisdom, I am surprised at the level of contribution from the other panelists. Each speaks with their individual personality,  each as a representative of the human race, each perfectly able to inspire me, by being themselves, by following what we all share, somewhere deep down, the language of our hearts. 

There’s a whole list of problems in this world: political parties owning the media, corporations funding the politicians that are supposed to govern them, environmental problems, businesses that are focused on shareholder value rather then long term ethical goals. And at the bottom of each of those causes: WE. You and I. WE who don’t pull the trigger, but allow it to happen, if not encourage it.

There were two things that I take away from this for once worthy hour of television:

a)There is room for humor and laughter in the dialogue, laughter at our own expense, therefore room for admitting our shortcomings without being blocked by shame or guilt. “His Holiness likes to laugh”.

b)It makes no/not enough difference whether I applaud or criticize a state of things or actions taken by others. The only thing that makes a difference are the actions I take to actively participate in our current world affairs. And measured by those, there still is lots of room.

I am glad today I decided to write this post, rather then switching over to the season opener of CSI Miami, which started at 10pm and not 9pm as assumed. Actually, I’ve just decided, I don’t need to watch CSI Miami at all this season.

As for the whole Happiness thing, well, I do believe we have a right to be happy. But where there is a right, there is a duty too.

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