If Mama Ain't Happy...
Dennis Prager goes so far as to call happiness a “moral obligation.” I prefer to think of it as an opportunity. It's like a time release vitamin. Our happiness can fortify our children now. But it can also help and inspire them later.
Our happiness and good cheer, especially when we are facing trials, can teach our children important lessons about faith and courage, resilience and perseverance.
I know this from experience. Almost every day I’m reminded of things my mom did when I was growing up. Her example gives me strength. Things that irritated me as a teen are now a source of inspiration, and fill me with love, respect, and gratitude. I’m grateful for a mom who cared, who didn’t give up when things were hard, and who chose to be a happy person.
When our children see us as happy people they are much more likely to:
* See the good in life.
* Want to follow our counsel.
* Choose happiness too.
That’s why I wanted to share this Prager University video with you. I’m hoping you’ll find it as valuable as I did. I included my notes below in case you want to talk about it with your family.
Happiness is a Moral Obligation
Notes from "Happiness is a Moral Obligation" from Prager University
Seeking happiness is not a selfish desire.
* It’s a moral obligation.
* It’s a noble endeavor.
* It’s how we touch, teach, and lift others.
It’s not fun being around an unhappy parent, spouse, child, co-worker, or neighbor. Our happiness affects those around us. We should act as happy as possible, even when we don’t feel it.
It’s like bad breath or body odor. We brush our teeth and shower for hygiene, and to radiate good breath and good body odor to people around us.
The same is true of our moods. A bad mood is like bad breath. It’s not right to inflict it on others. We should act as happy as possible, as much as possible.
When we face trials or challenges, we can share them with the people we care about without imposing a bad mood on them.
Almost anyone can do this. We decide how to act. We have the power to choose.
For example, think of how you treat a family member when you are miserable. Even if you aren’t nice to a family member, you’d have the ability to be nice if a stranger were to come to the door. We can be in a terrible mood at home, but then be pleasant to friends or even strangers.
Or let’s say someone offers you one hundred thousand dollars a week not to be in a bad mood. Could you do it? Most of us can act happy when we don’t feel happy.
And the magic is this: The happier we act, the happier we feel. How we act influences our feelings more than our feelings should be allowed to influence our behavior.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Yes, indeed, we have a moral obligation to choose to be happy. We can start working on it now. Happy people make the world a better place.