“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Wait, what do you mean the purpose of our existence isn’t to be happy?! Don’t we all strive to reach a place of happiness and contentment? I. Love. This. Quote. It makes so much sense! It’s not telling us not to be happy, it’s telling us to think more.
The appropriate question to ask ourselves is how we define ‘happiness’ and where we get it from. Is happiness feeling good about ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually? Is happiness money? Watching your kids play? Getting good grades in school? Having a powerful position in the work place? What is your happiness? If it could be a picture what would it look like? Are the places we get out happiness from healthy? Do we selfishly gain our happiness?
The reason I ask all these questions is because whether we know it or not, much of what we do/ say/ feel stems from our own happiness and how we arrive to it. I firmly believe that. we learn from a young age that it’s important to be happy, but Emerson implies in this quote that happiness is not what life is all about. Life, and living well should be defined in our impact on the world around us. Are you leaving your mark and are you honorable in your pursuits?
I have to say this is the thing in our society that drives me crazy the most… When people don’t do the right thing. You know, that feeling in your gut when you’re making a wrong decision or doing something unjust? If you get that feeling, good for you. I’ve seen a lot of people lack those feelings or ignore them all together.
When we wrong people who don’t deserve it, or do the wrong thing, even to a complete stranger, you’re not contributing positivity to the world around you— you’re proving that the world still has a lot of changing to do.
This is what I love about the “Random Acts of Kindness” campaigns that have swept the nation over the last year… It feels good for a lot of people to see random good acts within our communities.
At the end of it all, the end of our roads, no matter where we personally believe they lead… I can guarantee the question we ask ourselves or that is asked of us, isn’t “How happy did you make yourself in your lifetime?” You’ll think back and be most proud of the times where you showed compassion, love, made good decisions, made the best decisions, had honor and respect and lastly, you’ll think about the people YOU MADE happy and the impact you made in their lives. That, to me, is living well, and leaving your mark.
As I’ve stated on this site in “About The Sparkle,” and time and time again, I’m here solely to leave my mark. I encourage you to think about how you’ll leave yours. ✨
Xo Aurora Beani