There is something amazing that happens as we anticipate a new year. All the people who serve me smile and bid me good bye with “happy new year’! Having just paid an unexpected car repair bill, I was sent off with ‘happy new year’. Needing supplies at my local grocery store, the woman who finished packing my reusable bags smiled and shyly said ‘happy new year!”
I began to wonder if this greeting, like so many expressions, had lost its meaning with over use. Are people really wishing me a new year filled with happiness? And what would be the essence of happiness that could fill my new year?
The Dalai Lama speaks so often about happiness. “The purpose of our life is to be happy” he proclaims and also points out: “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” And Oliver Wendell Holmes reveals: “Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness”.
Building on the wisdom shared by these two amazing men, I can affirm as true for me that the Source of happiness is Love. And that Love compels me to serve. I think this has been the basic impulse motivating all of my life decisions. It was the Energy that drove me to ministry in South Africa, it was the Life-force that lured me to seek a contemplative way of life. It continues to be the Happiness that fills my life now.
So now, I too join the chorus of people wishing everyone a truly ‘Happy New Year’! With so many all around the world gathering to wish happiness to one another what a beautiful world this can be!