Why are some people never happy?

Since I am a human being, I have experienced emotion. I know happy; I know sad, and I know everything in between.

From what I have gleaned out of life so far, I can say with certainty that the biggest reason a person is unhappy is the direct result of continually pointing the finger and looking for fault in others. They might even be forever searching for error in that rascal in the mirror.

Of course it is a good thing to look within ourselves to see how to improve, but must we be ever complaining against ourselves and others?

Life has taught me an important truth. It isn’t what I can find wrong with a person, an event, or a concept that causes me discontent. The issue is when I allow my opinions about a person, an event, or a concept to steal my focus and rule my emotions.

If I allow outside stimuli to control my emotions, I am weak. Even if I allow my inside emotions to control my emotions, I am weak. Some people feel big and strong and mighty when they throw a fit, scream and yell, or shout profanity to express their disagreement or displeasure. Does it really solve the problem? I have heard many people make a big stir and then claim they feel better from their outburst. I can’t help wonder if they are being honest with themselves. When you allow your emotions to control your behavior, does it actually make you a stronger person?

Years ago I discovered that I was too often sad and unhappy. I began to look deep and found that too often, I was allowing other people’s words and actions to control my life. It wasn’t that other people were actually doing bad things or treating me badly on purpose. They were doing the best they could just like I thought I was. So why was I unhappy, and what could I do about the situation?

Someone I highly respected had enough courage to tell me the truth. He said that my unhappiness was not due to the issues I found in myself and others. My real problem was that I did not have a strong enough testimony of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. At first I was offended? What?!! Me? No testimony of Jesus Christ? I thought I believed in Him as the foundation of my very life.

My friend advised me to read again the New Testament, particularly the four Gospels, with the particular focus to get to know Jesus Christ for real. I took the first step by humbling myself enough to take his advice. I read again Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to better learn who it is I believe in. What did He believe, and what did He teach? How did He behave? How did he speak? How did He feel about people and situations?

That was a turning point in my life. It was as though I had been blind, and now I could see. I had no idea I had been so shackled by selfishness. There was nothing, not one word, not one action, nothing selfish to be found in the life and works of Jesus Christ.

After that great awareness came upon me, I began to live the rest of my life. Easier said than done. It takes a constant effort to discover oneself. It takes learning here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept. It takes a heap of living to learn to control one’s own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The biggest challenge I ever found was refraining from reacting negatively to the unkindness of others.

There is nothing quite so frustrating and infuriating about People Police, the name I call the group of folks who might be way too busy when you need a hand, but always make themselves available to point out what’s wrong with everyone and everything.

So often, people police overlook the good part of what others do or say and instantly zoom in on what they think is the bad part. Some people have no sense of humor and cannot take a joke. Some aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy. I guess some people feel smarter and bigger and more important when they identify what’s wrong with everyone else.

Ah hah! Caught myself. I think that’s exactly what I’m doing right this minute. I’m judging others for judging me. Tut, tut, MaGee. Vicious cycle, ain’t it. Grandpa Rich used to say, “There’s two kinds of people who won’t make it to heaven–the criticizers, and the criticizers of the criticizers.”

I believe him. I better watch my step. I find that in order to maintain peace within my heart, I must not concern myself too much with other people’s opinions–even those of my friends. In my present endeavor of blogging, perhaps I would be more bothered by the people police if my motive for writing publicly was to obtain public favor. Truth is I write to please myself. It doesn’t matter if a thousand people read my thoughts or absolutely no one but myself.

That doesn’t mean I can’t learn from others. I am happy to hear constructive ideas. But too often, people just want to blab their opinions and pick a fight. Call me a wimp, doesn’t matter. I don’t fight–at least not by way of public debate. I simply turn off comments and write. Sometimes I succumb to temptation and retort since I am a communicator by nature. But I never like myself when I join a debate. Most people think it’s healthy to debate and try to best others in verbal wars. My conscience says it’s not for me. Trouble is I can usually win a verbal war, but I never feel like a winner. I find no satisfaction in belittling others or stomping on wounded pride to get to the top of the Uppity Ladder. I leave debate to CNN and competition to the NFL.

I love to write. I write to please the good feeling inside. I write to better understand myself and the world I live in. I write to encourage others and generate smiles. I learn day by day. Something I wrote about last week might change this week because I learned something new since then. If we make snapshot judgments and hold them against others, we make someone an offender for a word. From then on, we remember that error, that judgment, as though it was the deciding factor of the whole person.

Makes me grimace when I hear people blabbing about other people’s sins and weaknesses from months and years and decades ago. Why do people persist in finding bad in others and what on earth do they find exhilarating about repeating it to others? Why would someone want to resurrect some hurt or error from long ago? What if the offender had long since repented of the offense? Even if someone did something really stupid just yesterday, why that was a whole entire twenty-four hours ago, for crying out loud!

My conscience would never allow me to hold a grudge. Seems awfully counterproductive to personal growth. My conscience calls the shots, and she is bigger than I am. Smarter too. When she says, “Go”, I go. When she hollers “Stop!” I stop. When she commands, “Jump”, I ask, “How high?” That conscience of mine is so dang bossy. She controls me, and I let her.

I have learned the wisdom of withholding judgment. Even when I hear something someone said or did that seems pretty dumb, I avoid setting it in stone in my mind. Chances are that person will repent of his oversight by tomorrow. He (or she) sure doesn’t need me setting myself up as judge over them.

If I was worried about everybody’s opinions, I’d be spaghetti. If I stress over how my fellow human beaners perceive me, I would hide under my rug and never come out. Wait. I don’t have a rug big enough to hide under. I would hide under my truck and never dare do anything. I would never LEARN anything. And if I hide under Belinda, sure as shootin’, somebody else would come along and take over my truck, feed Remington to the seagulls, drive off, and run over me.

When I feel like singing and want to share the good cheer with others, and all someone can do is find a goat raisin in my bowl of oatmeal, I think of my sister Jane. She was always so funny with her wisecracks when we were kids. She could smart off without cracking a smile. I never could do that. My cheesy grin always escaped me. When people got too opinionated, my little sis used to say dryly, “When I want your opinion, I’ll squish your head.”

I know. It’s rather uncouth. Us kids that grew up FLDS should have learned better manners. We were certainly taught good manners. But we were also taught the importance of a sense of humor. We learned the necessity of backbone. We had to find courage to try new things and face the impossible. We were NEVER popular with the public. Unpopularity is nothing new. If I was popular I’d wonder what was wrong with me. If others gang up against me, doesn’t matter. Whether I’m all alone or surrounded by ten thousand like-minded people, I still have the same responsibility to think good, speak good, and act good.

I know there are many issues in the world, in our country, in our cities, towns, and communities. Many find issues in their families and with each other. So many people are so focused on the faults they find in their neighbors, that they forget to tend themselves. Life is actually so very simple. It is easy to find joy and contentment when we look within and start with yours truly. This is my SOLUTION for all the issues in the world.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be;

With God as our Father, brothers all are we;

Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now;

With every step I take, let this be my silent vow,

To take each moment, and live each moment in peace eternally;

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.