We are immersed in a culture that is individualistic and happiness is seen as immediate self-gratification. Often the current philosophy is:
“In this culture there is no such thing as justice or equality; there is no God-reality, the earth is there for me to use and enjoy as I wish. There is only the present moment and nothing more.
Truth is what I want it to be; the only reality is the reality I see and experience; meaning is what I desire. I am not my brother’s keeper. I stand alone, I do as I choose — and then it is over.”
Occasionally I find Harvey Mackay’s weekly column in the Tribune enlightening and provocative.
Recently he wrote about “the fulfilling life”.
He writes: “Happiness can change from one season to the next, or even one minute to another. Fulfillment is satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s abilities and/or character.”
The President of High Point University in North Carolina says:
“Fulfillment comes from a life well lived — one devoted to making the world a better place.”
Mackay urges: “Make gratitude a continuous attitude.”
Gratitude focuses on the myriad of ways in which I have been enriched by others and the myriad opportunities I have to reciprocate. Gratitude calls me to see beyond myself, to live beyond myself. There is nothing that so ennobles a human being as does the quality of a gracious spirit.
The Greeks held that the end of human life was the achieving of happiness and everything the human being does is in search of happiness. Happiness is found in fulfillment and fulfillment is found in making a difference in the life of my community.
Fr. Steve Adrian