If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. Joseph Wood Krutch

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Today I split from my normal dialogue, and occasional diatribe, on sustainability, consumerism, pollution and the like because August is officially "Happiness Happens" month. So be happy, it's the law...well sort of.

The constitution promises you 1) life---well if you woke up this morning and you are still breathing you got that one nailed, 2)liberty--uh that one is under attack a little and we just won't go there right now, and 3) the pursuit of happiness---hey, it's the pursuit you're promised, not happiness so, get over it.

Anyway, if you live in one of the states shown below, then back in 1999 your governor declared August officially "Happiness Happens" month. So if you live in one of these states you must be happy. It has been officially decreed. The rest of the states couldn't decide if they were happy or not and you citizens of those states will just have to do the best you can. Maybe go see a good movie or something. We'll think happy thoughts about you from time to time and hold out hope for you next year.

Oh, I should also mention that the governor of Texas was happy back in 1999 but I am not sure whether he is happy right now or not. He didn't take my phone call so I wasn't able to find out.

Happy States and the responsible Governor

Alabama - Don Seigelman
Connecticut - John G. Rowland
Idaho - Dirk Kempthorne
Indiana - Frank O'Bannon
Iowa - Tom Vilsack
Maryland - Parris N. Glendening
Massachusetts - Areo Paul Cellucci
Nebraska - Mike Johanns
Nevada - Kenny C. Guinn
New Hampshire - Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey - Christine T. Whitman
North Carolina - James B. Hunt, Jr.
Oregon - John A. Kitzhaber
Rhode Island - Lincoln Almond
Texas - George W. Bush
Vermont - Howard Dean, M.D.
Washington - Gary Locke
West Virginia - Cecil H. Underwood
Wisconsin - Tommy G. Thompson

Well, I guess I have to tie this into the theme of my blog somehow so, here goes. Here is your project for the month to achieve more sustainable happiness. (Phew, got the tie in accomplished.)

1. Smile at at least ten people you don't know and give them a genuine warm hello this month.

2. Clean out at least one messy closet, cupboard or drawer and give the stuff you don't NEED away. Notice I said NEED not WANT. Meditate on the difference if you must. It has been a hard lesson for me to learn too and I understand completely.

3. Pledge to give away at least twenty one-dollar bills to persons less fortunate than yourself this month. They're all around if you pay attention and a dollar or so means a lot to them. Don't be judgmental, just give it freely and without strings. If you really want to be happy, give them a five.

4. Forgive someone that does not deserve forgiveness. Trust me, that really makes you happy inside.

5. And lastly, do something fun and quit working so hard. When you die, your in box will still be full. Then what are you going to do? Don't worry, be happy.

One last thought. I have been thinking a lot lately about "time pollution". We are all in such a hurry now that our concept of time has been polluted. As a result we are no longer cordial to one another. Society tells us we are expected to go fast. Fast food, fast cars, instant soup, quickie car washes, minute rice, express lanes... (Have you noticed I like lists?) Anyway we get mad at our

"Oh, look at the time, gotta run, I have another blog to attend to. Sorry, we'll do lunch someday. Ciao"

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