Saturday, January 10, 2009

We Have no 'Right to Happiness'

This excerpt about Mr. and Mrs. A and Mr. and Mrs. B raises the controversial question of what is 'happiness' and whether or not we as individuals have the 'right' to that happiness. In the story, Mr. A leaves Mrs. A for Mrs. B. Did he have a right to do that? C.S. Lewis says that the concept of a 'right to happiness' sounds "as odd as a right to good luck" because we depend on our happiness from outside sources depending on our circumstances. Mr. A left Mrs. A because he was not happy but I believe that he did not have the 'right' to do so.

Lewis says, "To be in love involves the almost irresistible conviction that one will go on being in love until one dies, and that possession of the beloved will confer, not merely frequent ecstasies, but settle, fruitful, deep-rooted, lifelong happiness." From this I interpret that being married and being in love is a choice. Every day one must wake up and say "I will love an cherish my wife today". I realize that in some circumstances this is extremely difficult but if both people in the marriage attack the marriage from this mindset happiness would be reached and this nonsense of divorce would not be possible. We search for happiness inside ourselves instead of looking to others. If Mr. A had simple talked to Mrs. A and worked out their differences then I believe they could have reached happiness together. But Mr. A did not do that. He gave up and ran to the next best thing that he thought would bring him happiness. Chances are that a few years from now he will have moved on the Mrs. C because he will still be searching for happiness.

Happiness is not a right. We do not deserve it just as we do not deserve anything else in this world. Happiness is a gift from God that we must work for. In class we talked about the difference between happiness and joy. This was not touched on in the reading but it is still valid to the discussion. Happiness is a selfish earthly concept that we all search for. Happiness does not bring peace. Joy on the other hand is the feeling of ultimate peace when Jesus is first in your life then others than yourself. Joy is not about the individual but it has the most rewards to the individual if it is reached. Joy is contentment for Christ for life; for all of eternity. Happiness is contentment only for a moment.

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