The following post is from one of our members, Mike Hulsen.
Abraham Lincoln had a wonderful talent for conveying profound truths in homespun phrases. One saying attributed to him is, “Folks generally seem to be about as happy as they have a mind to be.”
It seems that some people just don’t want to be happy. You may have an acquaintance who as they say, “has enjoyed poor health for years.”
Or, some who aggressively strive for happiness through the accumulation of wealth, power or social standing arrive with their impressive collection only to find that something is terribly missing. Some perspective can be gathered from the comment of H. Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who said, “I don’t remember the day I first became a billionaire, but I remember the day that I became an Eagle Scout.”
And remember the race car driver’s response when asked about what he did with his millions of dollars in winnings. He replied, “I spent most of my money on fast cars, fast women and booze, and I guess I just spent what was left rather foolishly.”
In contrast to these misguided attempts at happiness, I remember a small plaque in my father’s study entitled “Characteristics of Emotional Maturity.” I believe that they were written by his friend Dr. Karl Menninger. One of the points stated was, “The ability to derive greater satisfaction from giving than receiving.”
This concept was a little difficult for me to understand and accept as a youngster, however, over many years, I have seen the concept validated time and again.
The personal fulfillment that one feels when contributing to the interest of another just cannot be matched by achievements motivated solely by self-interest.
I like to think that this feeling of fulfillment is God’s way of rewarding us for endeavoring to be caring, considerate, loving and forgiving in our relationships.
Mike Hulsen, Moderator