Monday, March 20, 2006

On Happiness

Elizabeth called me earlier tonight to ask how my weekend went. I told her it was fabulous.
A couple minutes later in the conversation, she said - actually in kind of an accusatory tone, "Jenny, you don't believe in God, but you are so happy. I believe in God, but I am unhappy."

I was silent on the other end of the line. I mean, what am I supposed to say to that?

Finally, I pointed out that we've had a similar conversation a couple times before where she's told me I don't believe in God. I don't know where she gets the idea, but I've corrected her both times that sure, I do believe in God, (though it's probably a different version than the God she's got imagined in her head.) My God, for example, likes to tap dance and sports a smart looking purple chapeau. I get the impression that her version of God sits Mightily on His Throne pointing His Finger and shaking His Head at all the bad people, like me, with all of our crazy ideas.

So I spent some time tonight in meditation, communicating with my God, and asking Her advice on what to make of Elizabeth and her ideas. My God was not very helpful, preferring to play with Her fancy yo-yo that lights up emits a jaunty tune.

Seriously, though.

I reminded Elizabeth again, that I do believe in a Higher Power. And I calmly told her that happiness is not conditional on one's belief in said Power. (I mean, if it was, all the atheists would be broody miserable souls, and we all know that atheists love to par-tay!)

"Liz, happiness is a choice."

It's easy to be happy when you have a home and a job and a family that loves you and lots of money and a nice car and good friends and fine food in your belly. Having just one or a combination of those can make being happy pretty easy. How powerful is it, though, to have none of those, and maybe only one leg to stand on and no shoe for your one good foot - and yet you choose happiness? I mean, wake up every morning, hop out of bed, strap on your peg leg and have a look up to the sky and realize that even if there are clouds, the sun still shines behind them and, at the very least, you're here.

And that just rocks.


captain_howdy_girl said...

In Canada God wears a toque

hardyandtiny said...

Did Elizabeth play outside with other kids when she was a kid?

Jelly said...


Maven said...

Is Elizabeth Korean? I didn't pick up that little detail before.

I personally would be put off if after correcting someone regarding my beliefs, they continue to think I don't have any.

Ever the skeptic, I don't know if it's a slam or if she's just that obtuse.

Jelly said...

Maven - me, too. And yes, she be Korean.