Happiness

Happiness is a topic we have discussed multiple times, but it seems fitting to bring it up again. I recently had shared with me a letter Thomas Gordon wrote on this very subject. In it, he asserts that “imaginary happiness is a poor amends for the want of real.” I have recently found myself getting caught up in the crowds around me and moving more towards this imaginary happiness. I think that it can be easy to get them confused sometimes. Especially when all around you, people seem to be happy following their own path. So maybe you try to follow it yourself. Or you think you have found happiness in similar places and try to pursue them again. Only you come to realize that what is true for one situation may not be for another. I thought I knew where to find real happiness where I am, but I kept getting disappointed. I’m still getting disappointed. Gordon also writes that “he who aims not at an elevated lot, is happier than he, who, having it, fears to lose it.” I feel like like I’m losing my place, where ever it may be, and because of it, I can’t find my true happiness. And I think a lot of the problem is that I pinned my happiness on others. I was, and still kind of am, looking for reassurance and praise for what I do. I sought out the outlets where I had found it the most, and they turned up empty. So now I am lost. But I know that I can find my way again. Gordon finally surmises that “ Happiness is therefore from within just as much as virtue; and the virtuous man enjoys the most.” Happiness is a goal we must reach towards. The Greek root of the word means “good soul state” and just like virtue, that state can be a struggle to get to. It all depends on how much you are willing to work. If it is a goal you truly desire, the effort will not be in vain. That does not mean it will come easy. It just means that it will be worth it. And you can find little victories along the way. A little happiness and virtue can cleanse your spirit even if it isn’t perfect. I want everyone to know that they are not alone in this struggle. We may be the voices telling you what steps to take and what path is the right to follow, but that’s because we too are making those decisions. We are learning with you. And we are not perfect. We stumble. We fall. And we sometimes feel lost. But then we turn to those around us who help us find our footing again. We are all in this battle together. We get told we are alone by those who want to tear us down. But happiness is achievable. Virtue is achievable. If we help each other along the way, we have nothing to fear. So don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel lost like I did, well, am. And don’t be afraid to reach out to help if you see someone lost, either. I look forward to continuing on this journey with all of you by my side.

Yours truly,

Publius

The Time Will Come

I have recently found myself in a new environment and have been thinking about how to broach the subjects on which we discuss so frequently with people unfamiliar with the cause. I have kind of been anticipating and dreading the eventual moments when things like politics or the constitution are brought into conversation. Will anyone else understand? And will they even want to listen? What if it just ruins things?

I found myself looking back through my copy of Plato’s Gorgias and came across a passage where he describes how to have proper rhetoric. Socrates states that “A teacher passes his expertise on for his pupils to use when it is morally appropriate to do so-which is to say, defensively, not aggressively, and against people who wish them harm and do them wrong”. There will be a time when my knowledge, when all of our knowledge, will be called into question and we will have to defend it. But it is important to recognize when it is appropriate. And it may seem like that could be difficult. How do you know we to speak out and when to hold your tongue?

In truth, “we” kind of don’t. But the spirit does. We will be told/prompted when the time is right. And sometimes the people we talk with aren’t the right ones. Not everyone is prepared to take in this message. But the spirit will guide us to the right people. We should never turn down a prompting. And we should always be ready for a prompting.

And maybe there will be contention when you bring up your beliefs. But we have to remember to not be aggressive. We’re not trying to force our ideals on anyone. The people that deal in force are “trying to win the argument rather than look into the issue they set out to discuss”. Argument leads to anger leads to unclear minds. We can’t enter into these conversations hoping to “win”, only hoping to educate.

So I am still anxiously awaiting the day when I am prompted to share this information. I know that I have important things to say, and I trust that I will say them to the right people. With this knowledge, we have the responsibility to share this with others. We just need to remember the proper way.

Update

Hello, everyone! Due to some schedule changes in our lives, Tuesday is no longer the best day to post new entries. Starting this week, the weekly updates will be posted on Saturdays. We hope that you continue to stick with us as we continue to spread out message. Thank you for all of your support! See you Saturday!