When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object
Ten years later (by which time she was living in America), a friend of some friends, an American senator, took Sabina for a drive in his gigantic car, his four children bouncing up and down in the back. The senator stopped the car in front of a stadium with an artificial skating rink, and the children jumped out and started running along the large expanse of grass surrounding it.
Sitting behind the wheel and gazing dreamily after the four little bounding figures, he said to Sabina, Just look at them. And describing a circle with his arm, a circle that was meant to take in stadium, grass, and children, he added,
Now that's what I call happiness.
Behind his words there was more than joy at seeing children run and grass grow; there was a deep understanding of the plight of a refugee from a Communist country where, the senator was convinced, no grass grew or children ran. At that moment an image of the senator standing on a reviewing stand in a Prague square flashed through Sabina's mind. The smile on his face was the smile Communist statesmen beamed from the height of their reviewing stand to the identically smiling
citizens in the parade below. How did the senator know that children meant happiness? Could he see into their souls? What if, the moment they were out of sight, three of them jumped the fourth and began beating him up?
The senator had only one argument in his favor: his feeling. When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.
Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure.
To be happy is to learn to choose. Not only the appropriate pleasures, but also his way, his job, his way of living and loving. Choose your hobbies, your friends, the values on which to base your life. Living well is learning not to respond to all the requests, to prioritize your preferences. The exercise of reason allows a coherence of our life according to the values and goals that we pursue. We choose to satisfy one pleasure or give up another because we give meaning to our life - in both senses of the word: we give it both direction ...
To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; it’s an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you, not something that you magically discover in a top-ten article on the Huffington Post or from any specific guru or teacher. It doesn’t magically appear when you finally make enough money to add on that extra room to the house. You don’t find it waiting for you in a place, an idea, a job—or even a book, for that matter.
Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress—the solutions problems ...
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.