2. Happiness

By Jim Selman

Happiness is the second of five declarations made in the Eldering Ceremony.

Happiness occurs in different experiences at different times for different people. A child may be happy sitting by a lake watching the light reflecting off the water on the wings of a dragonfly. A mother may be happy holding her newborn child. And a man may be happy simply contemplating a question. Happiness is not the result of our circumstances, our actions or even the fulfillment of some criteria or ideal state that we may have imagined.

Happiness is the natural and inevitable consequence of being present in the moment, of being authentic, of accepting life on life’s terms.

Happiness eludes us when we are attempting to be something or someone we are not or when we focus on what “could be” or “should be” or “if only”. Happiness begins when we choose to be profoundly grateful for the way it is. Happiness flourishes when we are present to our sensory experiences—moment to moment—in each breath, in each heartbeat, in each texture, color and sound.

Happiness is our natural state: we do not need to do anything to attain it. People who are consistently happy invariably practice gratitude and are aware of the mystery and majesty of the Universe. They distinguish between what they can and cannot change. Their serenity and equanimity come from choosing to accept the things they are unable to change and changing the things that they can.

Take The Happiness Challenge

We challenge you to sustain your commitment to and your practices of gratitude, acceptance and living in the present.

Happiness is a choice. We challenge you to remember that you are the Chooser when you forget.

We ask that you be a teacher and a mentor to others of all ages in the domain of happiness.

We ask that you stand for the possibility of happiness throughout life for those who will follow.

Do you accept these challenges and this responsibility as an Elder in our world?

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