Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

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Blog posting by Erick Pettersen of People Connect

In a movie I recently watched, the protagonist went on an extended vacation. He didn’t go to visit anyone, and he didn’t tell anyone he left. He took a cruise, on which he befriends several people. He learns from them; they learn from him. Toward the end of the movie, he contracts a virus, and the ship’s doctor can’t figure out what was wrong with him. Before the end of the cruise, he dies without saying goodbye to his family.

Though, I did not agree his decision to take his vacation without letting loved ones know, I understand why he made it. Certain people had caused so much stress in his life that he felt he needed to run. While his death brought misery to his friends and family, if he had not left he would not have learned from and taught people he met. He brought joy to them, learned and grew from them, and they did the same for him. And those people who caused him misery, and made him feel he had to leave, worked out their problems toward the end of the movie.

I believe the meaning of a person’s life is to search for happiness. In fact, we just celebrated the 233rd anniversary of our nation’s independence, declared by a document in which Thomas Jefferson reminded the British Monarchy and everyone that everyone has the right to, “The pursuit of happiness."

If you want to connect, if you want to move forward in your personal or professional relationships, pursue happiness. If you are the one causing others pain, please stop before you lose those relationships and hurt yourself. If you are trapped and victimized by others’ selfishness, consider the effect of their negativity on your mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and how that may adversely affect those around you.

I am not encouraging divorce, nor am I encouraging anyone to stay in any type of abusive relationship. I am encouraging everyone to pursue their goals by pursuing happiness; though, never search for happiness at the expense of anyone’s misery. And all the better for a person to pursue happiness by bringing happiness to those around them.

In memory of Michael Jackson, pursue happiness by bringing happiness to those in your world.




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