Happy Independence Day, reblogged from DeHavelle.com


Happiness is what? Is it a skill?

Happy Independence Day

I hope that each and every one of you is having a happy Fourth of July. The “happy” part of that is significant, and I sincerely hope that you have the skill and the circumstances to achieve it.

Skill? Yes. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote one of the most oft-quoted lines in history describing unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Someone suggested to me today that:

Happiness is a thing based on the circumstances we are in. Good circumstanced=happy, bad circumstances=unhappy.

I disagreed. (And later, the commenter pretty much agreed with my objection, which is posted below.)

Happiness is a learned skill. To describe it as as merely the result of circumstances would be like saying a person is a skilled carpenter simply because he lives in a neighborhood of well-built homes. (continued here)

What I think curious about this post is that Keith DeHavelle never explains what skills we require to make us happy. He simply says:

You can be as happy as you decide to be, if you follow up on that decision by seeking and acquiring the skills involved. (from here)

Are you happy? What skills do you employ to sustain your happiness?

BTW, Happy Independence Day includes a great bit of poetry.


16 thoughts on “Happy Independence Day, reblogged from DeHavelle.com

  1. @Keith..LOL. I agreed with some of what you said, not all! I still maintain my stance on the difference between happiness and joy as it relates to my Christian Faith. It’s all good though. Peace

    1. If there were nothing worthwhile to gain from it, what would be the point? Would we worship God if we thought Him indifferent to us. If He did not love us, would we still love each other?

  2. Wisdom is a learned skill. However I doubt Kieth will agree with what King Solomon, the man most renowned for origination of the skill of wisdom. However, Kieth seems to partially agree in the belief of this proverb in the fact that somehow the universe came about.

    By Wisdom Yahweh founded the earth, by discernment he established the heavens; by his knowledge the springs well up from beneath, and clouds drip dew. (Proverbs 3-19, 20)

    However, I doubt he will agree with the rest of the explanation below.


    (Note from Citizen Tom: Since the link to Scatterwisdom’s post was not working, I updated it.)
    Maybe someday he will wise up, I keep praying for him.

    Regards and good will blogging.


  3. I agree. happiness is a learned skill as well as something more. foundational to the learning of such a skill is the decision or choice to pursue it. happiness is a choice, a decision, a skill and it can even be described as both a destination AND the journey you take to get there.

      1. that’s an interesting point…
        could you expand on that difference for me? what are some examples of how we would differ in our approaches to form positive attitudes?

        1. It is late. So I don’t have time for a detailed answer. So I will just offer some observations.

          What makes us happy when we are children is not the same as makes us happy as we grow older. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs offers one explanation for that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

          Because we each define the purpose of life our own way, we each have a different way of defining fulfillment.

          Our religious beliefs may be a large part of how we view our life’s purpose, but we each are unique. That uniqueness involves both environmental and genetic factors. In addition, it involves a choice. If we are more than mere machines, there is a spiritual factor I am not certain how to define.

          1. thanks for the response. it’s a start to go on and i’ll try to think thru as well. -mike

  4. Great post, Tom. I enjoy Keith DeHavelle, he has a good mind. I quite agree with him, happiness has very little to do with our circumstances.

    Needless to say, I cannot define the skills it takes to be happy outside of the context of faith. But happiness, contentment, always seems to require less of me and more of Him. All those human bits of ego we tend to cling to, pride, envy, resentment, fear, etc, tend to make us quite unhappy.

    1. Needless to say, I cannot define the skills it takes to be happy outside of the context of faith.

      Hmm. Does it help that my icon depicts the typical “folded in prayer” pose?

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    2. As “they” say,there is more than one way to skin a cat. Nevertheless, cats seem to be happy little creatures. Well, maybe happy is not the right word, but they don’t seem to unhappy.

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