Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wassup w/happiness? (long, but fast read!)

I asked myself why I've been writing so much lately about happiness.

I realize it's because I'm happy - and I see so many people who are not only unhappy, but who actively make unhappiness happen in their lives.

They get in their own way, sabotage themselves, cut off healthy people and choices in their lives-

I guess I remember how I used to do the same thing way back when and how deeply I wished I had someone like me to show me the way, to turn on the light for that road less taken.

I do have more to say on the subject, but for now, I'm putting it to rest because whether Proust or Patrick, we all have to make the decision on our own, as I did, that happy is the way I want to feel, live and how I wish to deal with life.

As thousands of books, Oprah, Dr. Phil and the million other people who have found their own way to happiness know: it is no secret: making the decision to be happy - to have the desire to make the most of who we truly are live it to the fullest - is the first step.

Learning just how to be, behave and live that way day after day, minute by minute, has been the most challenging and enlightening path for me to take - and it's all been worth it.

I know I've said it before, but it's true: I wish you happiness.

The more happy people there are, the kinder we will treat ourselves and one another; the kinder we treat ourselves and one another, the more we will understand one another. The more we understand one another, the better we will get along. The better we get along, the less violence there will be. The less violence there will be, the fewer the wars will break out. The fewer the wars break out, the more we will focus on real issues in the world: health, education, the environment, self sufficiency and how a variety of cultures can live together in peace.

Interestingly, many people believe that we "need" war to keep economies stimulated. A lot of people mae a *lot* of money from waging war.

What they don't get is that if our economy shifted focus to thrive economically from promoting environmental welfare, empowering and educating people to become self-sufficient, healthy, understand each of us has a positive role to play in the world - that each of us belongs here - and capable of determining our own futures, the planet would thrive as we do.

The earth is the little canary in the world's coal mine.

If you listen carefully, you will hear that the little guy's song becoming weaker and weaker.

If you don't listen because you have better things to do? You will not only be shocked when he dies, but part of the reason he suffocated and mad as hell at all those "other people" who killed him because they wouldn't stop deforestation, polluting, overpopulating, killing off hundreds of species who are indicator animals.

"Indicator animals" are those whose welfare indicates the state of the environment in which they live.

There was a huge fight in the Northwest about the status of the endangered spotted owl, which relies on old forest growth to survive. If the spotted owl is in trouble, so is its environment. Loggers wanted to continue to harvest logs while environmentalists said that logging had to desist until the spotted owl's environment was healthy again.

Old forest growth takes decades - if not centuries - to thrive without interference other than clearing brush.

The media fight became between the "greedy" timber industry and the "idiot tree huggers" who don't make a living from the land. The stories almost *never* mentioned the spotted owl is an indicator species.

Like if the loggers keep logging without conisdering the future of the spotted owl? Um, no more logs, no more living off the land, and another area is deforested which reportedly contributes to more global warming.

If the environmentalists figured out a way to preserve the old growth forests in a way that would allow a healthy way to preserve the forests' integrity and - ultimately - maintain a thriving logging industry; if the logging industry came in with the attitude of needing to preserve its source of income by protecting the spotted owl, rather than just wanting to clear cut a forest then moving on to another area? The negotiations and media coverage would not have been so vitriolic.

As always, the enemies dehumanized one another at the outset - "Those greedy bastards don't care about the environment!" "Those tree-hugging hippies don't care about putting people out of work!"

The government stepped in by making proclamations rather than inviting all parties in before any proclamations were made so there would be a clear understanding of why the spotted owl needed to be protected. More, why wait until the species is endangered before taking action?

Let's face it - negotiators from all sides were un-happy! Unhappy people feel attacked instead of viewing a problem as a challenge.

They push people to take sides like two immature parents fighting over the custody of their kids in a nasty divorce.

Of course the innocent owl was caught in the middle - as its habitat was being destroyed, and by extension, the future of the logging industry there as well as contributing to the environmental illness of the world.

My wish is that one day I'll read the headline, "HAPPY PEOPLE MAKE PEACE BREAK OUT!"

I know it sounds woo woo and laa laa and tie-dye print and artsy fartsy to a lot of readers.

Believe me, it's not.

As you can see from my one very simple example, it's a totally left-brain, logical way to reason and think and negotiate.

We just have to teach people how to reallign their philosophies and reasoning systems.

But, as with happiness - they must make the decision they want to live, work and thrive as happy, educated, truthful people whose goal is to improve life for individuals and communities.

As it is, the unhappy "bad" conservatives supposedly only want what is best for the individual - generally the wealthy individual - those who have, keeping government out of our lives as much as possible (until it comes to intruding in our bedrooms, religions, women's bodies and other private matters) -

And the unhappy "bad" liberals supposedly only want government enforcing what they believe is good for the group - making government responsible for the welfare of everyone, including the "have nots." Of course, the folks who have to pay for it should be the "haves," only the "haves" have enough power to make sure the folks who end up paying more than their fair share are the "have nots."

Thus, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

I wish others would join me in understanding that it's time to rethink how we deal with all parts of a system wherein the people who are supposedly "in charge" of a republic - voters - are only left to feel constantly betrayed, lied to, powerless, helpless and .. dare I say it? UN-HAPPY!

My apologies for the length of this blog! Peace out! -cp

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