The Best Key to Happiness

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Happiness is elusive for many people because they don't know what it is. What they are shown is how to simulate happiness with material things. Here you will learn how to achieve real happiness.
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  Beauty, unaccompanied by virtue, is as a flower without perfume.- French proverbSet aside the facts that we can't agree on the meaning of beauty, virtue is analmost forgotten word about a concept that interests few people and proverbs arederided by many as cutesy sayings that were better suited to biblical times. Do westill have something to work with?Over the past century we have associated the concepts of goodness and of peoplebeing good with religion, with moral righteousness. Over the same period, majororganized religions have disgraced themselves on the public stage, be it withencouraging suicide bombing, genocide, supporting cruel dictators or pedophilia.Or just plain lying.We have done what almost no other animal on earth would do. We made our bed thensoiled it with our own feces.I would make the point that goodness is not associated with religion so much as ithas been religion that has associated itself with (even usurped authority for)goodness or morality.Every society on the planet has similar concepts of goodness, even though we maypractise it differently from each other in terms of ritual, costumes and services.In many cases it may be called religion, but in others it's just the way thatpeople have of living together in harmony and good health.Getting back to the quote, what can we say is beautiful? There are two kinds ofbeauty, the transient and the perpetual. Human beauty in the physical sense istransient. When it goes, the beautiful person had better have some characteristicsand skills as backups or their life will be tragic thereafter.Nature is not just beautiful, but eternal. A sunset can be beautiful, but shortlived. Yet sunsets return every day, as do sunrises. Everything in nature changes,but in doing so it establishes a new form of beauty.Many people find pictures of the Sahara Desert beautiful. The Sahara (the namecomes from the Arabic word for desert) was once a verdant region of lakes, whichare always objects of beautiful pictures. (In fact, the Sahara still has itslakes, but they are far below ground level now. It's the world's largestfreshwater lake down there.) Once beautiful as lakes, now beautiful as desert.The most important characteristic of humans that is as eternal as we can get it isour goodness. It lasts a lifetime and is as valuable on the day we die as when wefirst adopted it. Goodness is our beauty, our virtue, our link with nature andeternity. A flower without perfume? Oh, there are such flowers. They have been bred byhumans for their beauty, with no regard for their lack of perfume. Now fewerpeople than in the past century buy flowers, except for funerals and weddings. Theanalogy fits too well.There is abundant evidence that the happiest people on earth hold the lion's shareof goodness within them. Dishonest and hurtful people are never happy, no matterhow much they parade their possessions before us and laugh in our faces. (Forgivethem, hubris is all they have to hold onto.)I have not pointed you to beauty after all, but to happiness through goodness.And, maybe, to eternal life.  You take it from here.Bill Allin'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,'striving to give us the keys to eternity.Learn more at http://billallin.com
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