Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2276709-The-Way-To-Real-Happiness
Rated: E · Article · Other · #2276709
Happiness is closer than you think
The most googled question on earth is – “How to be happy?” What does that tell us about people? - obviously, that we are not happy.

What about you – are you happy? If not, do you know how to be? Now, some people might claim to be, but, what do we mean by that word - ”Happy?”

Generally, people think that, to be happy is to “Have satisfaction and pleasure,” as the dictionary puts it. By that definition, many people are happy. Yet, what do the facts reveal about the general state of people's happiness today? Consider the main areas that people look for happiness – Money, success, relationships, material things, and religion.


According to The “Journal of Happiness Studies,” once our basic needs are met, more income does little to improve our overall happiness or our sense of well-being. Money itself is not the issue. It’s “the striving for [money] that’s linked to unhappiness”

The publication - “Psychology Today” reports - “Research has shown people who make their happiness and satisfaction contingent upon consumption tend to be less happy and more dissatisfied with life.” It concludes “Materialism is associated with unhappiness.”


The need for love and companionship is obviously a factor in human happiness, which is why many people pursue romantic relationships – looking for the perfect partner. Yet, over the last 50 years, the dynamics of the world's relationships have changed, with a new set of moral codes for relationships. What is the state of human interactions today?

“Our civilization is headed for absolute disaster if we fail to reverse the disintegration of the family as a functional unit.”

That statement was made by Dr. Lee Salk of the New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center in an article entitled “A World Tragedy.”


Maurice Zolotow, a close associate of many famous persons, observed: “For about fifteen years I have been the confidant of Broadway and Hollywood actors and actresses who have opportunities to live a promiscuous sexual life. And some of them live it to the hilt ... But when they trust you and let down their hair, they will confess how frustrating and unsatisfying it all is.”

Ask yourself – if fame brings happiness, why do so many famous people drink excessively, take drugs, and bump from one failed relationship to another? Think of the superstars – people who had everything - who died prematurely, or committed suicide – Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Earnest Hemmingway, Keith Emerson, Whitney Housten, River Pheonix, Robin Williams, Michael Hutchence, Chelsie Kryst... and the list goes on.

Politics and Power

Many people believe that changing society, through politics or revolution, brings happiness. Yet, even in celebrated political systems – like Democracies - there is always a large percentage of people who are unhappy with the current form of government. Many place their hopes and dreams in their nation, their flag and their constitutions. Yet, what we actually see is that the most proud, politically ambitious nations actually have the highest depression and suicide rates. One famous Western leader once recklessly declared - “My country – right or wrong!” Of nationalism and national pride – renowned scientist and statesman - Albert Einstein - once said

“Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.”


There are over 10,000 religions in the world, most of which disagree with one another. The history of religion is not a good advert for happiness because it is filled with corruption, wars, persecutions, greedy acquisition of wealth, hypocrisy, and sexual deviation. The result of this is a gradual decline, particularly in the western world, of faith as a means to find happiness.

Science and Knowledge

Humans have always been curious creatures, wanting to know about the universe, the earth, and the mysteries that we are confronted with. Scientists have made some amazing discoveries, and have changed our lives in many positive ways. However, in the search for happiness, has it discovered the secret? Vermont Royster - former Editor of Science Digest wrote;

“Here is a curious thing. In the contemplation of man himself, of his dilemmas, of his place in this universe, we are little further along than when time began. We are still left with questions of who we are and why we are and where we are going.”

Despite the western world particularly, having more choices, technology, cures, entertainment, food variety, consumer goods and relationships than any other generation, it seems that genuine happiness has never been more elusive to humankind than today.

The renowned physicist - Stephen Hawking, wrote before he died - “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially, and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years? - I don't know the answer.”

So, where than can we find genuine, lasting happiness? And indeed, does such a thing exist?

Albert Einstein wrote “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

Einstein was unknowingly echoing the teachings of a man who is renowned for his deep wisdom, his unfailing compassion, and his joyful impact on the world. That man – Jesus Christ, claimed to know the secret of real happiness, and he spent his entire life teaching others that secret. But, is Jesus qualified to teach such a profound thing? Let others answer that question;

Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu “father” of India, once stated to Lord Irwin, former viceroy of India: “When your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems, not only of our countries, but those of the whole world.”

Historian and author Will Durant, summarized what he has learned in a lifetime of studying history, by these three simple words: “Love one another.” He observed: “My final lesson of history is the same as that of Jesus,” that “love is the most practical thing in the world. In all Western civilization”, stated Durant, “the person who stands out above all others is Jesus Christ. He undoubtedly was the most permanent influence on our thoughts.” However, he noted that the actions of people in the West “are very seldom Christian.”

Napoleon is reported to have said: “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires, but upon what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ alone founded his kingdom upon love.”

The famous Historian and author - H.G. Wells said that a man’s greatness can be measured by ‘What he leaves to grow, and whether he started others to think along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him.’ Wells, although not claiming to be a Christian, acknowledged: “By this test Jesus stands first.”

So powerful and effective are the teachings of Jesus, that the late psychiatrist Dr. James F. Fisher, at the close of his successful career, said: “If you were to take the sum total of all the most qualified of psychologists on the subject of mental hygiene, if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage, if you were to have those unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount.”

Famous artist – Vincent van Gogh once wrote - “He lived serenely, as a greater artist than all other artists, despising marble and clay, as well as colour, working in living flesh. That is to say, this matchless artist made neither statues, nor pictures, nor books; he loudly proclaimed that he made living men immortals.”

“Jesus walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon.” - James Irwin, Apollo Astronaut

“If we could be more like him, the world would be transformed.” - Bono – Lead singer of iconic band U2

“Men need only trust in Christ's teaching and obey it, and there will be peace on earth.” - Leo Tolstoy – Russian Author.

So – what is this sacred secret, this formula for real happiness that Jesus taught? Is it complicated? Does it mean a lot of sacrifice or cost? Does it apply equally to all people? And, does it actually work?

Jesus' formula for happiness is summarized so briefly and simply in one sermon, that it is often overlooked or dismissed by people. That sermon contains the ultimate guide for life. Although Jesus taught many aspects to obtain happiness, one way was paramount - all other things dependent upon it. Jesus began his teaching with a fundamental requirement for happiness -

“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”

The literal translation of the Greek words “spiritual need” used by Jesus is “Beggars for the spirit.” This implies that someone recognises their need of spirituality in their life. But, this is no reference to modern ideas of yoga, “well-being”, meditation, or contact with dead spirits. Jesus was urging humans to connect with their Creator - the one who gave life to all things. Jesus made this clear later in his teachings when he said “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God.” Jesus was saying that, true happiness - deep human contentment, is only possible when we actually know the one who made us, and we enter a personal relationship with God. Jesus' Apostle - James, wrote “Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.”

Jesus warned people not to be anxious about food, clothes and other necessities,. He said that “These are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing.” But Jesus pointed out a fundamental truth that “A man’s life does not result from the things he possesses” (Luke 12.15). In fact Jesus goes further and encourages faith in, and reliance on God. He promises that, when a person follows a life course approved by God, that our creator will ensure that all necessities (not wants!) of life are provided. This was Jesus’ promise recorded at Matthew 6.33 “Keep on then, seeking first the kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these other things (food, clothes, shelter) will be added freely”. Millions of people around the earth have found this promise to be genuine.

On relationships, Jesus taught - “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Some have claimed that Jesus was simply speaking common sense, or was copying ideas from his predecessors. Some have cited Buddha’s philosophy of not harming anyone. But these assumptions about Jesus’ teaching are wrong. In the first place, if this wisdom was such “common” sense, this world would be at peace. Few people on earth today behave the way Jesus taught, in fact, many consider such behaviour as naive and weak. Secondly, Buddha’s teaching was that of inaction - to leave alone, not to kill, not to affect. Jesus’ teaching is far superior because it is proactive, one where someone takes the initiative, where the person looks for opportunities to help his fellow man. What a world we would have if everyone adopted this simple, beautiful piece of wisdom! There are millions of people around the world who have done just that, and the results in their lives have been astonishing. They find that their family, work and social relationships improve immensely, and they enjoy a relative peace in this disturbed world. Ask yourself, what is most important to you in a friend or partner? Is it intelligence, or a person's career choice? Perhaps their choice of music or their popularity? Aren't we all more drawn to a person who is kind, loyal and trustworthy, one who listens to us and sympathizes? These are the qualities that are promoted by Jesus, but not in the world.

Jesus emphasized the link between kindness – giving, and happiness, when he stated that “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” Psychologists have confirmed that this is a fundamental truth about humans - that we thrive on acts of kindness, that our emotional well-being is boosted when we think of others, and help them.

“Return evil for evil to no-one but keep conquering the evil with the good” wrote one of Jesus' chosen Apostles. We are encouraged not to let arguments dominate our lives but to resolve them quickly “Do not let the sun set with you in a provoked state.“

Mental health specialists and doctors now recognize that negative thoughts, such as envy, hatred and resentment, are self-destructive and relationship destroying. They can even cause physical illnesses.

But, Jesus didn't just teach the way to be content and happy now, he went much further, and gave the human race a real hope of escape from all of life's problems, including war, anxiety, illness, and even death. Considering that Jesus explicitly warned the human race that we would experience a time of world conflict, breakdown in relationships, global warming, and worldwide diseases, it is worth listening to the good news that Jesus promised would happen in our time. The core teaching of Jesus Christ is that, one day, in the near future, God would intervene in human affairs, and bring justice, restoration, and peace. Millions of people today have heard this promise from Jesus but, they do not recognise it, because of the muddied, confusing teachings of the churches. Jesus announced to all the world that there is a coming divine government that will set all things straight. Here is the promise -

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”

Notice that God's will is to be accomplished on the earth. This is despite mankind polluting and ravaging our planet to the point of destruction. For all those dear readers who are heart-broken at the sad destruction of our beautiful planet, take comfort from another of Jesus' promises – that “God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”

In a world that searches desperately for meaning and happiness, it is there, for all to see, and all to accept. It is possible to be happy, despite our own overwhelming problems, and the current disturbing state of the world. And the final assurance for those who do try to follow the Bible's proven formula for happiness, is beautifully described in the Bible - as follows;

“For I well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

“God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning, nor outcry, nor pain”
© Copyright 2022 Moomintroll (hemmullenn at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2276709-The-Way-To-Real-Happiness