Thought for the Day

Thursday 8 April

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

It is only immature people who believe, “I am separate; therefore, I can manipulate you, even exploit you, to ensure my own happiness.”

To think that we can pursue joy as a collector pursues butterflies, seeking it here and there, is folly. We can never go after joy because joy has got to come after us.

It’s like the horizon. When you look from the Berkeley hills, the horizon looks as if it is just beyond the Golden Gate. You honestly believe that if you go there, you will reach the horizon. But as you pursue it, it recedes farther and farther, and that is the nature of pleasure. It peeps out from the store, the restaurant, the bank, but when you enter there you will find it recedes farther and farther.

When we begin to seek a higher goal – for the welfare of our family and community – joy slowly tiptoes after us. We don’t have to say to joy, “Excuse me, will you please come to my house?”

Joy will come and put her suitcase down and say, “I am going to be here, whether you like it or not.”

That is how happiness comes.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.