Today is MLK Day. A day to celebrate and recognize our freedoms and to give back to the community. After getting a brief introduction to La Puente’s programs and filling out a bit of paperwork, I spent the day volunteering at Rainbow’s End and the Community Gardens. I painted a shelf and some signs about composting.
After, we all gathered back at Milagros and watched MLK Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. Referring to the Declaration of Independence, he says, “This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The pursuit of happiness. These words I have heard over and over again. It seems that happiness is something we’re always chasing. I always write to myself that I need to “do things that make you happy, that fill you up inside.” But happiness is just an emotion.
As Tich Naht Hanh said, “It is essential to understand than an emotion is merely something that arises, remains, and then goes away. A storm comes, it stays awhile, and then it goes away. At the critical moment, remember that you are much more than your emotions.”
When I got home tonight I read an article Autumn sent me: There’s More to Life Than Being Happy. It’s funny how conversations, experiences and things you read can all synch up and come together within the same day. I love learning and reflecting like this.
So, I’ve gone throughout my life feeling pretty happy. But isn’t it true that even when you’re surrounded by all the things that make you happy, you can still feel empty inside?
I like to ask people, myself included, if they are happy in their life. But maybe that’s the wrong question to be asking. Maybe we need to be asking if you’ve found purpose and meaning in your life?
My thought of the day: Happiness is when we take; meaning is when we give.
Let’s all give more…