I listened to a talk today, about how the mind is never satisfied, it never gets enough. Most of us have this problem. The mind is never content, because it never finds what it truly needs, lasting happiness….and that is something that will never be found outside of us because, every thing outside of us is impermanent.
The people who have all the basics want to improve on that….a little bigger house, a bigger yard, another bedroom. Or, a summer home, a winter home, a beach home, a condo in the city for when we visit there. Or, we have all that but a private plane would be nice to save time, and get there easier.
This phone is small, I need one that not only texts, but does email. But, now I want one that lets me surf the internet, does navigation, etc. Mine does all that, with lots of apps, but I need one that takes better pictures, with higher resolution now.
I do have food to eat and I have money, but I have no time (I’m so busy) so I’ll eat at nice restaurants. But the food isn’t healthy, and I don’t have time, but I can afford a private cook to make meals when I want them. Then I will be healthier and have more time to do things I want to do, and that will make me happy.
She is beautiful, I want her. But now I see she could be better, there is this problem I have found with her. I thought this other person was actually more perfect, and would be better. But now I see something I did not originally see. So maybe I should not stop here, perhaps I wouldn’t be happy with her after all.
I have clothes, but they are not in style now, I need new ones. Now, I have new clothes, but people have seen me in these clothes, so I can’t be seen again in them, so I need new clothes. I have newer, stylish clothes, but a lot of people have these same stylish clothes, so I need designer clothing. I have lots of designer clothing, but I want something no one has, now I need someone to design something just for me. That will make me happy.
Meanwhile life is slipping by. We worry about what has happened, a mistake we made, how someone hurt us, lot of what if’s. And we worry about tomorrow, always planning, how to do better, get ahead, save for the future, make our goals, etc so that we will be happier in our future. And sometimes we are happy….. for a while.
I remember a quote from the movie trilogy The Matrix: Everything that has a beginning, has an end. Which, should give a clue as to where to look for happiness that isn’t temporary. Because everything—everything we can see, smell, touch, hear, and feel ….has an end.
Remember these Kindergarten Rules from Robert Fulghum?
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK
Applying these rules to our everyday life will help to provide balance, and thereby help us to live in the present, in the right now, this moment….which now is already past. So why worry about it….it’s gone. See what you have, and don’t have….and be OK with it. Nothing is permanent. Life can change in an instant. Happiness in the outside world is fleeting, if you don’t believe me just turn on the evening news. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do our best:
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
— Mother Teresa.