Perhaps you like to travel to
exotic places. Maybe winning in the stock markets is your thrill. Or
playing golf or a video game. Or closing a sale. Or watching a great
movie, concert, or event. Or a roller coaster ride. Or reading a
beautiful Bible passage. Or writing a thought-provoking article. Different
things bring us joy.
Think about this. Whatever happy
experience you’ve just had, the joy comes only at that moment or
shortly thereafter. Then, it's gone. However, you can relive that
experience each time you relate it to someone. Do you recall having
those good feelings?
It comes from an UNQUENCHABLE
THIRST TO BE UNDERSTOOD. Why do you show off your travel pictures? Why
do you huddle at the water cooler about last night’s hockey win? Why
do you e-mail a joke to your friends on the 'Net? You want to reveal
something about yourself. You seek to be understood!
Now imagine if the person at the
receiving end of the conversation ignores you, criticizes you, or
discredits you. Would you be happy? The good feelings come from
acceptance, from knowing you have been understood, and not just from
telling your story.
But think. Acceptance is
give-and-take. To be understood, you must seek to understand. Isn't it
any wonder that the happiest people in the world are those who have
learned to GET ALONG WITH MANY TYPES of people*. They have managed to
accept others despite differences - in skin color, beliefs, stature, etc.
- at times even overcoming rejection, anger, and apathy.
(In contrast, those who can get
along with only certain types of people are not as happy. And those who
cannot get along with most people? They are in mental institutions!*)
Today, decide to become one of the
happiest people in the world. ALWAYS seek first to understand. Accept.