What more is there to the equation than "happiness"? It's not enough.

by AlmostAtheist 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlmostAtheist

    The thread on "happy JW's" got me to thinking about this. There really are some truly happy JW's. Maybe it's because they don't take all the "do more, do more" stuff to heart and just do what they think is "enough". Whatever. Somehow there are happy ones there. Probably many.

    But you see kids on TV that haven't eaten in a week, bloated and sickly, still smiling and playing. They're happy.

    People living in slums, in crushing poverty that has no chance of being lifted in their lifetime -- many are happy.

    "Happy" can't be all there is to it. "Enrichment"? "Fulfillment"?

    If I was just ecstatically happy living inside a cardboard box, gaining nourishment from the mold that accumulates inside, no one would argue that's a good way to live no matter what happiness I experience doing it.

    Ok, so what does it take to make a life that people feel is "worth living"?


  • sweet tee
    sweet tee

    I think it differs for everybody. Some people NEED religion to be happy ... period. I had a friend who was dfd then reinstated, then realized it was a cult and now she's a church fanatic. Religion is like a drug for her ... she loves feeling rightous and judging others as unrightous. Same as the dubs. Striving for perfection feels good for some people.

    As for me ... all I need is love and some interesting activities to fill my day. I have a great job that I love, a family, a friend or 2, ambition, health ... I'm straight.

  • doogie

    i've recently started thinking of happiness as simply an absence of unhappiness. it's pretty easy to figure out what we don't like about our lives but maybe not so easy to determine what makes our lives worth living. maybe by searching for our happiness we're ignoring the real reasons we're unhappy. for me, i try to remove the things that make me unhappy and whatever i'm left with is my happiness.

    i know that probably doesn't make much sense, but i just figure tackle the problems and your happiness will appear because it was there the whole time hiding behind all the crap.

  • GetBusyLiving

    I started a thread along the same lines as this a while ago asking whether people would prefer to be a happy simpleton or a tortured genius. I think having a curious nature and always growing and making a difference is more important than 'happiness' in the most commonly thought of sense of the word. But I guess that makes me happy so im kind of contradicting myself..


  • Effervescent

    Some of the things you describe make me think of the saying "Ignorance is bliss". If one has known nothing else, either culturally or religiously, they have no reason to feel discontent.

    On the other hand, I think there is a big difference between a truly joyful life and mearly existing, but finding things to be joyful about. Someone can live in poverty, and be unhappy about the state of their lives and their families but still find laughter in everyday situations.

    This is just my speculations, but I think to make a life worthwhile for an individual there must be some kind of moving forward. The knowledge that you can move on to better things, learn more, be more, do more. If I had nothing to look forward to in my life, goals to accomplish and personal growth, I don't see how anything would be worth it.

    The problem with the Witnesses I believe is that a person can grow and accomplish all of his life and still never reach the standard that they put forward. You can never be worthy of God's love no matter how hard you try. How can you be happy when your goal is so totally out of reach?

    I for one am much happier on the outside where my growth is unlimited, both spiritually and otherwise.

  • tijkmo
    a happy simpleton or a tortured genius

    i am a tortured genius.....i would prefer to be a happy simpleton any day of the week and twice on sundays

  • talesin

    Happiness is having your basic needs met.

    Everything else is up to you.

    That's my philosophy in a nutshell. Doesn't have to work for you, but it does for me.

    You know my 'other one', peeps. Peace, love & happiness a la JL 1940-80 we miss you Johnny!


  • Undecided
    If I had nothing to look forward to in my life, goals to accomplish and personal growth

    Will you feel this way when you are old with nothing to look forward too and no goals to accomplish? What will be the source of you happiness then?

    Ken P.

  • swiftbreeze

    The happiest day in my life:

    I missed the sunday meeting to go visit some old "worldly" friends from my "double life" days that i hadnt seen since i was a teenager...They were so happy to see me...everyone was like "why did you stay away for so long?" I recieved more love in that one night than i had got all those years as a JW , we talked and laughed until 5:00 in the morning. I realized that these people cared about me as a person, everyone else had remained friends and had been there for each other through trials and had supported one another. That was the beginning of the end for me...I think JW say that they are happy because the WT tells them that they are.

  • sweet tee
    sweet tee
    I think JW say that they are happy because the WT tells them that they are.

    Emphasis through repetition ... They hear the words "Jehovah's happy people" so much they accept it as fact just as they do everything else. Even though most of them don't look happy at all. How can you be happy when you never measure up, there's always more to do, you didn't capture that last opportunity to informal witness ... and on and on and on? And living everyday thinking 'probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah's anger'. Wondering if you had committed an unforgivable sin. For me that was a painful existence.

    Living every day with faith in Jesus and in God's grace ... that makes me happy.

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