“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but if you will sit down quietly it may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864, American Novelist.
This quote was alluded to in a Watchtower article, “True Happiness is Up to You,” in 1981 (w81 4/1 p.16 par.23). The article contained many memorable comments and quotes which are as relevant now as then, if not more so –
‘…happiness is not principally a life of possessing, but of being and enjoying. It often requires that we adjust our sights so that we are satisfied with what we have…’
For many times are getting harder economically and the pressures of life are taking their toll on health and family life, however the Watchtower made this further comment:
‘It has been observed that, in a way, happiness is a great paradox. Though the word “happiness” may bring to mind pleasant conditions, it actually can grow in any soil, live under any conditions, defy any environment. Happiness is not so much what we have as what we are. That is the reason why many who live in luxury are not particularly happy, while some who have relatively little and whose lives are rather simple do find happiness. Furthermore, you may have met some hospitalized or handicapped persons who have a sunny disposition, a cheerful, happy outlook. True, they are not pleased with being ill or crippled and would like it to be otherwise. Yet they find reason for happiness in life.’
Living here in Nicaragua among people who have very little materially, and who often lack even the basics of life, is teaching us the truthfulness of those words – so on that note I’ll just pop outside and watch the butterflies….