5th Moon of Happiness
Key: Social Relations
"A faithful friend is the medicine of life."
---Bible, Ecclesiasticus 6:16
"The proliferation of support groups suggests to me that too many
Americans are growing up in homes that do not contain a grandmother."
---Florence King, U.S. author, Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye.
Outgoing, extroverted people who are more involved with others tend to be happier than shy, introverted people. Some of this may be temperamental since an outgoing personality is to some extent a constitutional trait. A study of extroverts found them to be more likely than introverts to have spouses, good jobs, new friends, and other things that bring happiness. For many people, shyness and social inhibitions can be overcome. Movement towards others--whether dating, marriage, family ties, or old fashioned friendship--has been shown by research to increase well-being.
Friendship used to rank highest in classical views of the necessary conditions for happiness. In Aristotle's famous work on Ethics*, he defines happiness as the life of virtue or goodness. Such a happy life can least afford to be without friendship: "No one would choose a friendless existence," Aristotle believed, "on condition of having all the other good things in the world." We might wonder if this is still as true today in a world where more college students are pursing money than meaning. As the Wednesday golf game and Monday poker night has faded, many men find themselves strained to earn a living and be more of father. Perhaps this is a shift for the better in some ways, but men find themselves increasingly isolated and most report a scarcity of close friendships.
Was Aristotle right about his emphasis on friendship as a primary source of happiness? Modern research on the importance of social relationships for both physical and psychological well-being proves him right. Despite the difficulties in maintaining family ties and even friendships, the lyrics of the famous song endure: "People who need people are the happiest people in the world." The need for people is so strong that it can actually be a matter of life and death.
Some years ago, scientists were studying a close-knit Italian American community in Rosetto, Pennsylvania. They were interesting because they had a very low rate of heart disease even though their diet was high enough in fat and cholesterol to clog a cow. Even more interesting was that while the researchers simply collected data over years, the rate of heart disease climbed until it equaled the American national average.
What happened? The diet remained the same, gradually over time more people were dying from heart problems. The scientists explained the change in terms of the breakdown of social support and cohesiveness. During these years the traditional Italian American family was becoming fragmented as young people moved away for jobs or felt less attachment to cultural traditions and religious beliefs. In this case, the social support or family togetherness was more important than the fat content of the sauce and sausages. As family relationships weakened, so did the coronary arteries.
The positive effects on health of close relationships was also demonstrated in a Finnish study which found twice the risk of death in the week following the loss of a spouse. Stress researchers Pennebaker and O'Heeron found that confiding in a friend after traumatic losses like the death of spouse or sexual abuse reduced the likelihood of physical illness. Those who wear their heart too close to their sleeve may find this causes problems in the health of their heart.
But in this age of dysfunctional families and marital distress, are family relations a source of happiness or a certain end to serenity. Humorist, George Burns, adds his perspective on well-being: "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city." The more serious figure of Clarence Darrow, famed American lawyer and writer, echoes this sentiment: "The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children." Certainly abusive family situations will destroy happiness. But on balance, volumes of research show clearly that the path to happiness and health is more easily pursued together than alone. Intuition of this fact explains why most people, despite the pain of failed marriage, continue to try, try, and try again.
For happiness and longevity, two (or more) is better than one.
The Fifth Cycle of The Moon!
(From - Wokini' by Billy Mills)
LIVE EACH DAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST
The Fifth Stick Needed to Fuel the Fire of Happiness
I will be happy because I live this day as if it were my last. I will not live to see tomorrow, yet I will be happy. My life will end, yet I will be happy. My future plans are gone forever, yet I will be happy. It is the last day of my life and I am happy!
There will be no more tomorrows for me. My life will end when the moon rises in the evening. I want to be sad, in my heart I feel I deserve more years. I have so much left to accomplish, so many dreams left unfulfilled. Yet, even though I want to be sad, I'm not. I am happy, more happy than I've ever been. I tell myself l am happy! l am happy! Yet how? How can I be happy when I know there is little time left?
Because today is special, my last moments on earth and it cannot be wasted with thoughts of sadness. Because today, I will appreciate each and every minute. There will be no time for sad thoughts! Because I know that only I control my happiness and Api-Sto-To-Ki has given me the strength to feel happiness in my heart, and He wants my last day to be happy. And most of all, because I know that this day is an undeserved bonus. I have been given a day and I know it is my last day. No one else can know when they will pass on, but I do! I know the greatest secret in the world! Knowing these things help me feel happiness in my heart.
With these truths in mind, what will I do on my last day, First, I will make sure I do not waste a single moment I will take each minute during the day and find something that makes me happy. It may be as simple as a singing bird or beautiful color, but I will notice it, appreciate it and love it. I know that all beauty is the gift of Api-Sto-To-Ki and He has given me the wisdom to appreciate it. How can I not do this for Him? He has showered the world with beauty so I can be happy. So today, on my final day, I will greet the dawn with reverence. I will find beauty in all living things. I will find beauty in nature, the clouds will awe me, the winds will lighten my burdens, the seas will cleanse me of all my shortcomings. I know that today, my final hours will be spent with inner peace and wonder at the beauty that surrounds me.
And yet, I will do more than notice the beauty in the world. Because it is my last day, I want to devote my full attention to it. Each minute is the single most precious thing I have and I am happy because I know how to make the most of it. This day is my life, my entire life, and I sing with joy that I can use it as I see fit! I wake in the morning with a feeling of thanks to Api-Sto-To-Ki that I have this final day. I am going to make the few remaining hours the finest I have ever had in my life.
I will live each day as if it were my last.
What will I do with this last day? Why has it been given to me? There must be a reason, because so many before me have never been given this chance. It must be my last day to be happy. It must be my day to love all those close to me. It must be my day to appreciate things I never have before. These are the things that I must do in my few precious hours that remain. I will greet each hour with excitement, I will cherish everything because I will never see it again. I will love this last day with all my heart, and it makes me happy to know I am not wasting it with negative thoughts.
I will live each day as if it were my last.
I am going to do things that make myself and others happy today. I will tell someone important to me how special they are in my life and will smile when I see their expression. I will help someone in need because it makes me happy to know I can do something kind today. I will make amends with my enemies because I want them to know that I value all life and want them to be happy, too. I will walk with Mother Earth and appreciate the beauty that surrounds me because I know I will laugh with wonder at the mystery of life. I will live with love and excitement in my heart because I know that tomorrow I'll be gone and I want to be happy one last day.
And, if indeed it is true, and it is my last day, I will have lived my greatest day. I will have lived every minute with my fullest zeal. I will have loved to my heart's greatest capacity. Each and every minute will have been the happiest of my entire life.
And if I am wrong and it is not my last day, I will raise my hands in victory and give thanks to Api-Sto-To-Ki for giving me one more chance to be happy.
I will live each day as if it were my last.
Thank you, Api-Sto-To-Ki, for showing me this!!!