I’ve written before about what it means to truly be happy. And that we can choose for ourselves if we want to be that way. But the world constantly tells us otherwise, so I feel like it’s important to address once again.
We are constantly confronted with lies promising happiness, or telling us that with our circumstances happiness is unobtainable. While it might be easy, we cannot buy into these lies. We are the only ones responsible for our happiness and no one can take it away, or even give it. The word happiness does not refer to our worldly pleasures, but our virtue. As we strive for virtue and knowledge, we are in the pursuit of happiness.
George Washington said that “happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” But why? Because as we do what we are meant to be doing, we are fulfilling the job we have been given and accomplishing our purpose, and nothing can give us a greater sense of joy than this. No one can tell us our circumstances restrict us from true happiness because we are in charge of our own moral character. And no one can promise us happiness from worldly pleasures because they bring only temporary satisfaction, but soon die away and we feel the need for something more. Though today’s entry may be brief, the message is true. You can be happy. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. As you work toward what you know to be right, joy, real joy, will undoubtedly come.
“There is a wisdom of the head and a wisdom of the heart.” -Charles Dickens
What is the wisdom of the head? This is fact. We know one plus one equals two and nothing can change that. It cannot be argued or disputed, it just is. Some of this wisdom can be argued, however. Wisdom of the head may also include ideas that can be debated using logic and reason. Whatever it is, wisdom of the head does not come from feeling and emotion, but from fact, logic, and study. We gain this type of wisdom from simply reading books. We take in the knowledge that comes from them and keep it in our memory. Though important, this is not the only type of knowledge we require.
Wisdom of the heart is very different from that of the head. It is emotion. Everyone can feel differently in this wisdom, and most of the time, no one is entirely in the right or entirely in the wrong. It is often debated and fought over because people usually tend to be more passionate about this type of wisdom. It cannot be proved by looking in a textbook or typing numbers into a calculator, it has to be studied and thought over. In order to gain wisdom of the heart you must not only read, but you have to ponder and consider as you do so so you can form opinions and ideas based on the heart.
While both of these types of wisdom are beautiful and needed, they cannot exist alone. If we truly want to gain knowledge and make a difference we must use them hand in hand. We need to be able to see the facts of things. To know what is actually true or actually false. But we also have to be able to feel. We can take that knowledge we gain from learning facts and use them to think deeply into important matters and form opinions and beliefs based on what we feel as we study them.