Trying to make sense of life and to learn living it happily.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Exploring "Happiness Pre-requisites": Nature

 In order to be happy, we need to know what gets us there. Our culture and upbringing holds several factors as obvious paths to happiness. They are children, success, money (and things it can buy), relationships, love, health, beauty, being at one with nature. I might have missed something, but these are held as major ingredients of a happy life, and most of us think of them immediately when we dream about happiness.

While all these elements indisputably make our lives much better, they should not be pursued for the purpose of being happier. We can have some of them or all of them (which most of us do, in different degrees) and still not feel as happy as we are supposed to.

In my post "Children and Happiness" http://olgarythm.blogspot.com/2012/08/children-and-happiness.html I wrote about children as a happiness prerequisite. This time, let's briefly consider another important factor - nature.

Art by ~stolendata

Leo Tolstoy said “To be happy is to be at one with nature”.

We human beings are part of nature. But once again, returning to our roots and relying on nature to provide happiness does not always work out. 

We feel happiness and harmony looking at clear blue skies or picturesque sunsets against beautiful clouds. We feel awed by magnificent mountains. We get a warm feeling from watching a cute kitty play around. 

We also get angry if we get stung by a mosquito, sad when it’s pouring outside, frustrated when we step into a cow cake, annoyed when it’s too hot or humid,  or depressed when it’s cold and gloomy. 

Not only that, but apparently, it would be extremely inconvenient for us to enjoy the nature to the full extend. We need shelter and cloths to protect us from it. We need plumbing and electricity for better quality of life and an opportunity to live longer.

Being at one with nature is important, because we are a part of it. But like anything else in the list above, it is best in moderation. And like every other element from the list of required things for us to be happy, nature by itself is not a source of our happiness. Our attitude toward it is the source of happiness, and nature among other things may be a cause of it.

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