A number of things make me happy though not all of them are good for me. Unlimited access to hot fudge sundaes would be one of these. So would lying on a sunny beach for hours, giving no thought to skin cancer.
The one drawback of these delights is that they pertain only to me. But the odd truth about happiness is, that like laughter, it’s best when shared. According to essayist, Gretchen Rubin, we are framed to be “do-gooders.”
…to help others is the right thing to do, and it also boosts personal happiness; research shows that people who aid the causes they value tend to be happier and in better health, and that they show fewer signs of physical and mental aging. (“The Happiness Boomerang,” by Gretchen Rubin, Good Housekeeping, 10/12, pg. 117)
That selfish impulses can lead to altruism seems a miraculous paradox. Rubin is not the first to have discovered this, however. Sydney Carton gives us his version in Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. His love for Lucie Manette allows him to sacrifice his life for her happiness. “It is a far, far better thing that I do now, than I have ever done.” Bending one’s head to the guillotine may be an extreme example, of course. Me, I’d rather split a hot fudge sundae.
(Courtesy of sydneycarton.wordpress.com)