Nel's New Day

August 24, 2014

Finding Happiness

Filed under: Religion — trp2011 @ 8:14 PM
Tags: , ,

As I struggle through news about racism in Ferguson (MO), the destruction in Gaza, and the hawks’ determination to declare war again in Iraq, I contemplated an op-ed from former Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) in which he accuses the government of promoting “faux happiness” through “socialistic programs.” According to Radanovich, happiness comes only from strong institutions in “worshiping God, loving our neighbor as ourselves, building a family and working.”   He believes that people cannot find happiness in “fatherless” families because of parental neglect.

Radanovich might want to note Pope Francis’ ten tips to happiness presented in an interview with the Argentine magazine:

Live and let live. According to the Roman saying, “Campa e lascia campà,” the first step to peace and happiness is move forward and let others do the same.

Give of yourself to others. The pope said that he learned this lesson at ten years of age from Concepcion Maria Minuto, the Sicilian woman who cared for his mother: “People need to be open and generous towards others….If you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

“Proceed calmly” in life. Referring to an Argentine novel by Ricardo Güiraldes, Pope Francis said, “In Don Segundo Sombra there is a very beautiful thing, a man who looks back on his life. He says that in youth he was a rocky stream that carried everything ahead; as an adult, he was a running river, and that in old age, he felt movement, but it was ‘remansado’ [dammed; i.e., slowed, quiet]. I would use this image of the poet and novelist Ricardo Güiraldes, the last adjective ‘remansado,’ the ability to move with kindness and humility, calmness of life.”

Enjoy leisure. Parents need to take time to play with their children; people need to “take pleasure in reading, creating art and having fun.”

Take Sundays off. The pope recommends this because people work too hard and miss the change to enjoy life.

Create jobs for young people. The 75 million unemployed people under the age of 25 need to learn skilled work and develop the dignity of caring for themselves.

Protect and respect nature. According to the pope, “I think it’s a question that we do not face: humanity, in the indiscriminate use and tyranny over nature, is it committing suicide?”

Don’t be so negative. This can be done through generosity, treating “others the way we want to be treated.”

Don’t proselytize; respect the beliefs of others. “The worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes. ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you.’ No. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing.” That’s the message from Pope Francis.

Work for peace. “[Peace] is never quiet, peace is always proactive,” said the pope. He added that people should help immigrants and look after them.

A story that has wandered the internet for several years shows the importance of nature, self-awareness, and relationships to others. The most common version is an assignment in junior high for students to determine the seven wonders of the world. The story continues that one girl selected the following wonders of the world:

  • To see
  • To hear
  • To touch
  • To taste
  • To feel
  • To laugh
  • To love

Receiving an email from a special friend about this story and full of beautiful photographs, I decided to use this opportunity of publish some of my favorite pictures from Sue Hardesty and Ann Hubard. I have pity for Radanovich who sees happiness only in “institutions” and not in his surroundings of people and nature.

Message for the day:  be happy and peaceful when you can and celebrate your own beliefs.



bay boat


bird orange chest






  1. Joyous photos and good papal principles. Thanks.


    Comment by Lee Lynch — August 24, 2014 @ 11:03 PM | Reply

  2. Love it – such beautiful thoughts.


    Comment by Robin — August 24, 2014 @ 9:51 PM | Reply

  3. PS–loved the photos, too!


    Comment by jstjohn1 — August 24, 2014 @ 9:06 PM | Reply

  4. Loved this–fits really well with our Working Together for Peace Celebration on 9/20. I want to see a poster with the Pope’s Top 10 List!


    Comment by jstjohn1 — August 24, 2014 @ 9:05 PM | Reply

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