Pursuing happiness is all the rage these days. Advice columns go viral with “10 do’s” and “10 don’ts” that will somehow provide a magic formula. We normally accept these ideas with open arms, but should we even be pursuing happiness?
In her “On Being” podcast, Krista Tippett hosts heavy discussions about life’s big questions. Krista manages to get some pretty good guests on her podcast, and in this case, it was his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and three other global spiritual leaders. Nice job, Krista.
Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, tells the story of an 18th century rabbi who arrives in the middle of a town square. Everyone in the town seems to be in a hurry, rushing in seemingly every direction. The rabbi wonders why all of these people are running around so frenetically, and he finally manages to stop one of them. He asks, “Why are you running?” The person responds, “I’m running…TO MAKE A LIVING!” The rabbi says to him, “How come you’re so sure that the living is in front of you and you have to run to catch it up? Maybe it’s behind you and you’ve got to stop and let it catch up with you!”
“Sometimes we don’t need to pursue happiness. We just need to pause and let it catch up with us.”