Here’s a good word from Rabbi Marc Gellman that was shared yesterday in NewsWeek’s Daily Beast. Words that encourage us to stop for a moment and define the happiness we pursue and so desperately want for our kids. What kind of happiness do you strive to gain? … groom kids to seek?
Here’s a snippet of “Worry. Don’t be Happy”
You just have to decide where true happiness comes from. Does it come from pleasure or does it come from goodness? The choice you make about this is the single most important one you will ever make in your life. It will determine whether you become a creep or a mensch.
And one last thing: money will not buy you happiness. Now I know some of you with a cynical streak don’t buy this theory. You may be followers of the great philosopher Spike Milligan who teaches in his Las Vegas lounge act, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.” Or perhaps you follow the teachings of Rabbi Henny Youngman, who once said, “What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy you money.” Once you make enough to meet the basic needs of life, more money does not make you discernibly happier. This is why the rabbis teach, “Who is rich? The one who is happy with his lot.”
Happiness for our culture is pleasure, and pleasure is selfish. Happiness for Judaism is goodness, and goodness is transcending. Pleasure points us inward while goodness points us to each other and God.
I’ll end with a story: David and Dana were in my office for premarital counseling, and I asked her what qualities David possessed that made her happy. She told me this story: On a blazing hot summer day they were approaching the Triborough Bridge when they saw a man selling newspapers. David opened the window, bought all the man’s papers and said to him, “Go home. It’s way to hot for you to be standing out here.” So how about this saying: “All I wish is that on a hot day my children will buy all the papers.
Now if that is what you mean, if that is what you want for your children and for the children of your children, well, that’s what I want for my children, too, and that is what God wants for all his children.
Happiness – always found when looking outside of yourself to serve others.
Thanks for walking the road with me.
p.s. If you feel compelled to watch or check out the show, here’s my little jaunt to L.A. a few days back to chat with Marie Osmond on her Hallmark Channel talk show. What a terrific group of folks. Marie couldn’t have been nicer. Of course, the make-up leaves me looking like someone else, and I’m not sure I will ever be able to live down my awkward waves on the between segment break-aways. But what’s a girl to do? :) Our segment airs today at 11 am CST on The Hallmark Channel. You can always catch it on-line.