Unity in Happiness

In every gathering of people, though there may be many differences of opinion, of temperament, of inherited tastes and aptitudes, yet there is a certain surprising unanimity as well. We would be astonished, could we in a moment of time dissipate these differences, to find that all men are in reality striving for the same end, reaching out for the same ideal, hoping for the same final goal. This goal may be described in a number of different ways, but no one will dispute the statement that happiness is that which every one in every gathering of people is desirous of attaining.

There may be people who in a momentary exasperation of misfortune or sorrow are not quite sure whether they desire happiness. There may be others who temporarily doubt whether happiness is really attainable, or who may be for the time being passing through a period of disillusionment or despair. But even such people are nevertheless weighing in their minds the desirability of this or that line of action, and in so doing are really weighing the probabilities of a happy outcome. As for the generality of people, they are frankly in favor of the immortal statement of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, that among the inalienable rights with which men are endowed by their creator is the right to the pursuit of happiness. Referring to this declaration, Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 106), "Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love." It is a comfort to recogaize that no matter what may be the diversity of human traits and quilities, no matter what any one may think about religion or politics, business or philosophy, yet all are united in the endeavor to be happy, and as far as in them lies to make others happy. This unity appears to be a discovery of great moment, because it proves that it is possible to find a common basis for all men to stand upon. It is something gained to start together in the consideration of subjects which are important to the common welfare. The great underlying basis of unity turns the faces of all men toward the dawn, toward the great effulgent light of hope and happiness.

The question then presents itself, How is genuine happiness to be attained? Here an apparently wide difference of opinion exists. One man seeks happiness in the accumulation of money, another in the exercise of power, yet another in the expression of talent or in the gratification of the senses. We are sufficiently familiar with the efforts made by mankind to find happiness through amusements and distractions. This very word distractions, and that other one frequently used to denote much the same effort on the part of mankind, namely, the word pastimes, reveal elearly enough the effort of mankind in seeking happiness to distract itself, to turn its attention away from itself, or merely to pass the time, to get rid of time in one way or another. There is an obvious futifity about all these efforts. They may seem temporarily to prevent mankind from thinking about themselves, their miseries, pains, disappointments, but they leave a void which must be filled from some other source; they do not satisfy or feed the longing for that which is beyond mortal ken, happiness which is true, substantial, eternal, and indestructible.

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September 6, 1913

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