Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Happiness: The Views Of Three Smart Men


Today's "Living Philosophies" are the thoughts of three very smart men on the subject of happiness which are at once enlightening and thought provoking.  Enjoy!


RALPH WALDO EMERSON: The True Secret of Happiness

Whatever your goal may be, strike out for it.  What if you die in the attempt?  If you put every shred of yourself into the attempt, you will have had life's one great exhilarating and soul satisfying experience anyhow. When you start out to pursue your dreams, be prepared for a great discovery. It is the effort itself that will give you peace. This peace goes with you as you grow older, becomes your choicest companion, never leaves you. Wrestling this peace from a troubled world is about all there is to the secret of happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in Larry Bielat, Winning Words of Champions, (New York: Wings Books, 1995), p. 121.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: Those Who Do Most for Others Are the Happiest

The education that I received at Hampton out of the text-books was but a small part of what I learned there. One of the things that impressed itself upon me deeply, the second year, was the unselfishness of the teachers. It was hard for me to understand how any individuals could bring themselves to the point where they could be so happy in working for others.Before the end of the year, I think I began learning that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. This lesson I have tired to carry with me ever since.

Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery, (New York: Bantam Books, 1963), p. 46.

THOMAS JEFFERSON: Health, Learning, Virtue Ensure Happiness

Be assiduous in learning, take much exercise for your health & practice much virtue.Health, learning & virtue will ensure your happiness; they will give you a quiet conscience, private esteem & public honor. Beyond these we want nothing but physical necessaries; and they are easily obtained.

Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 17 July 1790, in John P. Kaminski, ed., The Quotable Jefferson, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 235.

Let's think together again, soon.

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