Paula’s Perspectives – April
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Gandhi
Happiness is a strange thing. It’s a feeling, a state of being…but it’s temporal. Not just temporary but temporal. Meaning it’s not an always thing, but then it’s also a dependent thing. Dependent on so many other factors it can be illusive. And I sense that fulfillment is a more grounded goal than happiness. So, turning this quote on its head seems to make more sense to me.
Harmony in what you think, say and do leads to fulfillment.
I wonder how we can seek harmony in what we think, say, and do? As Unitarian Universalists, it is core to our values to seek this harmony. To be who we say we are. To walk the talk. To live our values, not just talk about them.
But, I am not sure we all have the bandwidth for this…at least, not all the time and in all the ways. Many of us have spent years as activists, as stewards of the environment, as advocates…and then in our own homes we fall short. How many of us have a family covenant? How many of us spend every day seeking equity in all things? Not me. And I want to. I do try. And I know that it isn’t about not wanting this sense of harmony, of not wanting to have our values match our behaviors in our lives. We do want it. It’s just temporal…like happiness.
Unitarian Universalism asks a lot of us. And it can be exhausting. Especially when we are also working jobs, raising children, caring for sick loved ones. And let’s not forget the ways this last year has stretched us all. #itsalot. IT’S. A. LOT!
So maybe Gandhi had it okay to begin with. Maybe seeking the kind of harmony that results in happiness is enough for now. It may be temporal and temporary, but it also may be just what we need right now.
So, yes, I hope you will all seek to balance the things you think, say, and do. And I hope you find fulfillment in it. But I also hope you laugh. I hope you play. I hope you relax. And I hope it’s brings you all a little bit of happiness, and a sense of harmony!
Paula Gribble, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement