Life is about Your Happiness, we are taught this over and over.
But truly, Life is actually about imparting Happiness.
Oh, that makes things a bit awkward.
Knowing or. . .rather believing this will change everything.
We are a country where wants operate under the misnomer of “needs," and from the time children are born, we teach this as truth through all we do, even though it may be unintentional. . .this generations shows children are learning these lessons very well.
Me. Me and my happiness.
Pandering masquerades as “parenting” and sets a tone for the generations that follow our own offspring where selflessness is only some fringe activity, and it is Not required. If something happens that looks selfless, too often, it is because of how it makes folks look. . .and how happy doing it made them, regrettably.
We teach happiness comes from what we receive and attain for ourselves. We teach that success is what we gain not what we give.
We chose success over kindness. We seek for the self instead of giving of it.
Giving is an after-thought; it usually means giving a bit of money and rarely time or sweat or tears and certainly not our entire being. At least not beyond a pre-scheduled few hours through the year.
We fail to teach that really living is NOT possible apart from giving in whatever means our hand can find a way to do so all of the time. . .
What type of people are raised if they are certain, as parents show them daily, the world revolves around their quest for personal happiness, around fun, around their person?
I fall into the trap sometimes, even though something within me knows better and screams better.
I find myself pondering whether I've failed as parent because I've allowed a believe if really living, in service and volunteerism to be paramount to every other thing in life. Sure, it has often served as quite the hindrance for having a "typical" family life.
I have never been a regular mother, and I have never counted birth and mothering as the greatest call of my life. Neither have I counted daughter, sister or wife as the greatest call. I believe my greatest call is service of others, and it includes my kids and family, sure. . .but that is not the same.
I've been hauling my children along on attempts at help and service for others (human and non) for a long time. I have, being caught in this nation's broken ideologies myself, sometimes agonized over my endeavors. Have I, in not putting their "happiness" at the front of all life failed them, I've wondered.
Wait, let me add a bit to this, as I'm not talking about their need to know they are loved, given shelter, being guided and giving them a steady life with nourishment, I'm talking where we are in America with our own lives and the lives we hold in our hands and a focus on wants over needs.
But thank God, there are those moments in the past when I've sat in the barn milking one of my goats, and the littlest boy of mine then only 5 years old says:
"You know, Mommy, I've thought about what I will save when I grow up. . ."
The 6 year old chimes in. . .
"I'm going to save horses like you. . ."
The non-conformist, at 13, adds, while he can't get on board so much with the livestock and horses,
"I've already said before I will rescue dogs, for sure"
The middle one explained it all to well at the end with, "Because life is about saving things, Mommy."
“Why yes, darling, it is," I added.
And I reminded myself then and I remember it now. . .
Life is about spreading happiness, finding joy in the giving of all you can, and knowing it will never be easy.
It is never without questions. But perhaps it will always be right.