It has always seemed to me that in the final analysis the little things of everyday life are what bring us happiness and satisfaction in life. Now there is scientific evidence to support my feeling.
An editorial in America (Sept. 22, 2014) comments on research in The Journal of Consumer Research, reporting that for older people small, quotidian events can provide as much happiness as extraordinary experiences. Of course, once-in-a-lifetime events like a trip to the Holy Land or winning a marathon are unforgettable and can be a happy experience, providing wonderful memories, but they don’t make a life.
It occurs to me that the happiness value of the more mundane and pedestrian life events is what we talk about when a friend or relative dies. Coffee klatches, golf games, family outings, life’s passages, baptisms, birthdays, marriages, graduations, ordinations are the subject of our stories. What do we really enjoy? Dinner with friends, listening to music, reading a good book or the Sunday paper. Why? Because they bring us happiness and satisfaction.
Younger people may look for the “mountain top” experiences, but maturity helps discern that which brings true happiness and satisfaction. America concludes its editorial with a passage from First Timothy, “Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.”
Image Credit: “Shoes are not for Reading,” by Angela (Angie) Accarrino on Flickr.
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