Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wholeness

I've had this tab open for several days because I don't want to forget this quote. If I had found it in a magazine, I would have cut it out and pasted it on my refrigerator. But since webpages are the new magazines, I suppose blogs are the new refrigerators? 
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don't mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're seeing people saying "write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep" and "cheer up" and "happiness is our birthright" and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, "Quick! Move on! Cheer up!" I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word "happiness" and to replace it with the word "wholeness." Ask yourself, "Is this contributing to my wholeness?" and if you're having a bad day, it is.     
- Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life 

30 comments:

Brendon said...

So glad you shared this. I've been thinking about joy this week and wondering if I'm recognizing it on a daily basis. The idea of wholeness makes so much more sense and allowing myself to be okay with a crummy day is a refreshing idea.

-Steph

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