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THE IMPORTANCE OF HAPPINESS
“When you find out what makes you happy — and it can be something as detailed as a long-term goal or it can be something as simple as the way I feel when my son smiles — you should know that happiness is your birthright. It’s a reaction to something.”
— Pharrell Williams, at the UN on March 20, 2015
When our heart and mind reach out to someone or something – this is empathy. We not only realize what brings us joy, but we pay attention when someone else shows us what it means to him or her. In reacting, and listening, we learn about ourselves and others. We appreciate the differences and methods to define happiness as individuals and a collective union of like-minded others.
A commitment to awareness, change, hope, and a renewed faith in ourselves and others generates a response to the questions:
What is happiness for me?
How can I bring it to someone else?”
What does happiness mean to you?
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It takes courage and strength to be so vulnerable that you can share your experience and attention with someone else. In observing someone else’s pain, we know the emotion because we have experienced it before. Each awareness of pain, or circumstance, does not make one weak. Rather, we approach it gently, with respect, since we know its power.
Once we can accept that it does not have to stop us from moving forward, we can reach out to someone else who needs a hand. Being empathetic does not mean being weak. It means being brave enough to know your own limits and realize that the person speaking to you has not found his yet.
Even if you can change nothing, you can extend kindness and compassion in listening. You are proof that quiet encompasses courage, awareness, and self-knowledge.
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