In 1776, Thomas Jefferson helped author the Declaration of Independence. He, John Adams and others listed the pursuit of happiness as an “unalienable right”. Little did they know that some people on this journey would assume that certain material gains along with alterations to their physical appearance would guarantee that happiness. According to an article by Richard Layare (a British economist) in The Charlotte Observer, we have enjoyed an unprecedented spasm of income growth, purchasing power and luxury, yet without a corresponding increase in contentment. He called it a “plateau of happiness,” a disconnect between what we have and how we feel.
In 1998, the King of Bhutan (an isolated Himalayan people) decided the country’s objective would be “gross national happiness.” The problem was, the king also allowed television into his country for the first time the very next year. Quite soon, everyone noticed a sharp increase in family breakup, crime and drugs.
Maybe, just maybe, instead of looking for happiness… we should help get it started in others. Solomon said 1) A cheerful look brings joy to the heart (Proverbs 15:30), 2) Good news gives health to the bones (Proverbs 15:30), 3) The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life (Proverbs 15:4), 4) Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24). May you experience an unimaginable joy as you pour your life out for others!
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” -Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor