It's a book title. The sequel to one of my favorites from my youth, Mrs. Mike. But it's also a to-do list. The search for joyful. Twin sister to the pursuit of happiness. I especially like the fact that Thomas Jefferson understood that happiness requires action on our part. And I am very grateful that we have the right to do that work.
I began thinking about this because of Powerball mania. The temporary insanity gripping lots of otherwise normal people (I admit I bought a ticket, though I hesitate to call myself normal) made me ask myself over and over, how much is enough. The promise of a mind-boggling fortune had many people pinning hopes on that slight chance that they could win happiness. That they could arrive at the station of joyful courtesy of good luck. All we have to do is look at the history of winners of the lottery to see that happiness is not for sale. And evidence is everywhere that wealth and fame can destroy lives. Taking away someone's need to be productive, to have a reason to get up in the morning and get to work of some kind can be a most devastating thing.
The flip side of that coin is all the hand wringing going on about the political scene. So and so wants to keep me from praying. Really? They are going to get inside your head and stop your conversation with God? Sounds more like science fiction than reality. Of course it matters who we elect. Of course it does. But we have weathered all kinds of leaders, all kinds of presidents. Some were better leaders than they were people. And vice versa. But I'm not going to believe that my pursuit of happiness, my search for joyful is dependent on anyone else. Exactly like prayer, that search comes from inside.
I know people that I don't agree with politically who are doing amazing work to make the world a better place. Some in very visible ways, others quietly working one on one to treat people with respect and kindness. Their journey is not dependent on me agreeing with them, voting as they vote, or sharing theology, or theosophy, with them. My opinions are valid. So are theirs. I have yet to meet a person who is right about everything.
I have lived a very lucky life. Born to loving parents, married to man who I admire, mother to children who give me great joy...the list is long. I have had advantages that many don't have. I can't claim I chose or earned my parents and my lovely childhood. I am simply grateful for the life I have been given. And I choose now to believe that focusing on good, reaching for the light, searching for joyful is a worthy response to the life I have been given.