Happiness [International Day of Happiness 20 March 2017]

Happiness [International Day of Happiness 2017]

(This poem is similar one I posted last year for the same event)

In this mortal life we spend much time in seeking satisfaction
Chasing things we hope will bring much happiness and joy
And many a time these efforts bring no positive reaction
No bliss nor gain do we discern for all efforts we employ

In recent times the need for all to experience this felicity
Has come to be the battle cry of those who claim what’s best
And thus this need for untold joy’s been given much publicity
A new nostrum to lift our hearts and ensure that we are blessed

Politicians have on this matter long before pronounced
Jefferson in drawing up the US Constitution
Made clear to one and all when it was first announced
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” their chosen resolution

The New World pioneers held not the slightest doubt
That it was man’s clear and inalienable right
At the heart of all we do, all that we are about
To Live life, be Free, seek Happiness with all your might

In modern times our rulers revisit that great vision
The government claims it’s time again our wellbeing to measure
To calibrate our state of joy once more becomes our mission
And in due time we’ll have to gauge our sadness and our pleasure

To count and measure the nation’s joy is said not to be woolly
But to grasp it all may stretch demands on any Excel spreadsheet
If each and every factor be identified quite fully
The recording and analyzing, a highly complex feat

But can the concept of happiness be something quite objective?
My views on what to me brings joy or lasting peace
Are victims of emotions often quite subjective
For you my choice prove no great gain, from any fear, release

The Bible, on happiness quite often does declare
Ecclesiastes says – to be happy, no better aim can be
To build a world where life is truth, and acts are just and fair
Should on the lips of worshippers be their own earnest plea

But the Good Book says of happiness for its dear sake alone
The Christian life demands we seek the good of every other
The nobler path to which we’re called, that we must try to take
Shows peace we gain, when life is lived in service to our brother

But perhaps all this for you and me, a little too high-minded
Too vague an aim, such lofty thoughts, perhaps too altruistic
Our vision of happiness too bright and thus our eyes are blinded
Our keen pursuit needs grounding in plans more realistic

Perchance like me you may find that in order to pursue
The prospect of a worthy life, but not too hedonistic
For a life which cares for self but gives others too their due
We need a plan, not lofty thoughts, but much more realistic

Thus it may seem the media hype broadcast of latter days
Happiness an Agenda and call to Action
For each of us prove gainful and some dividend might pay
As step-by-step each one of us decides our own reaction

By daily acts of kindliness and personal good deeds
By loving thought, supportive words, and little acts of grace
We might promote goodwill as we note others’ needs
Each friendly word, each happy smile, radiating from our face

For Buddha the path to happiness is found in understanding
Of suffering whose root causes may be longstanding
And through daily practice of mindful thought and action
Our living may bring much greater satisfaction

Now perhaps none of this will answer, give adequate reply
To those whose quest for happiness seeks answers universal
But this gentle, kind approach I hope you won’t deny
Might from our gloom, our fear, our woe, initiate reversal

Ken Fisher

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