Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Today's Ramble - 11/21/06

Until we can teach monkeys to read, we are all humans. We contain a complete mix of all of the emotions, both good and bad. Through the identification with and practice of these emotions, we develop a self. This self is experienced and criticized internally and externally (by others). This self identity develops and changes over time. We build character.

Happiness is a very convenient and effective guide for building character. If we get too far from a general feeling of happiness, we can be safe in assuming that something has gone sideways with our self, our character. A perfect example of this is the unsettled and unfulfilling feeling that many of us have after a prolonged focus on consumption and materialism. The greed and sefishness required for us to be "good" consumers leaves us feeling unwhole. A simple steering away from greed and hedonism will lead to a stronger sense of happiness. When this happens, we can be rest assured that we are building good character for ourselves. And, we are setting a good example for those who we affect in our every day living.

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