The Search for Happiness

If we take a closer look at our life, we realize that we do what we do because we ultimately want to be happy.However, one mistake we commonly commit is to seek happiness in our endless efforts to have more and to earn more. While material goods are important to our survival and dignity, the incessant pursuit for ever more wealth and material possessions make our life meaningless. This is the attraction of materialism. We are not immune from this culture. We, especially the young want to be sure we are "in". We desire the latest fashion in our clothes and in almost everything: cell phones, bags, shoes, music, etc. We crave for more and more and always want to get ahead of others as if our identity and security depend on possessing these things.

Such a lifestyle can be very stressful. In this lifestyle, we can even sabotage even our own joy. Imagine the amount of time and resources we have to spend just to be able to keep ourselves abreast with the latest things in the market. Imagine the thiongs we have to give up or the unnecessary anxiety we have to endure in order to be"in". By living this way, our society is affected, too. Our economy is pressured to produce more and more luxury goods at all cost. Much energy and resources are wasted. Look around and see how our environment suffers and how people are corrupted-all because of the ilusion that to "have more" is the key to genuine happiness.

The opposite of this kind of mindset is to focus on a simple lifestyle. Simple living means stressing the essentials, both material and spiritual, which we offer a deeper source of authentic happiness and joy.

Simple living helps us understand that the real source of joy is the profound love of God for us. since every human being is created in God's image and destined for eternal life with God, nothing less than God can make us ultimately truly happy. We do not possess in our selves the deepest source of true happiness. Riches, popularity, and power cannot guarantee genuine happiness. All lasting happiness that we experience is from God: it is God's blessing, a beatitude. Recognizing this is the key to the first beatitude-the poor in spirit will gain true happiness. This starts in our pilgrimage now in which we seek happiness in our daily life by living according to Christ's teachings, but it comes to complete fulfillment in the next life in God.

"Live simply so that others may simply live"


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