Happiness for Starters

aeta kids

Our village is building an arc to pay tribute to a local politician who gives money to our officers so they can build a better basketball court and gazebo complete with faux gold plaque with his name in big bold letters. I don’t understand his attachment to things and our need to praise him for doing a “public service” –I mean, it’s his job isn’t it? It’s not like he’s doing us a favor either. Outside our village, there’s a slum area with a significant number of families who have been there, poor for as long as I remember living here. It feels strange to live in this place sometimes.

Last weekend, I climbed mountains intending to meet people who, we were told, had it worse than we all did. But then after meeting them, I wasn’t so sure I understood the concept of visiting the poor. With smiles worth more than money can buy, I guess I figured that happiness lies far from that which we acquire. Again, I’m thinking of Buddha and while Confucius is stewing in my head, dukha appears clear enough in my life to make me reconsider the way I live.

I wonder, is all this attachment we have to things keeping us from actually being happy?


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