An article in the World News section of the paper had a small mention of a law about to be passed in Brazil…
…and I quote:
“In a nation known for its jubilant spirit, massive parties and seemingly intrinsic ability to celebrate anything, is a constitutional amendment really required to protect the pursuit of happiness?
Several lawmakers think so, and a bill to amend Brazil’s constitution to make the search for happiness an inalienable right is expected to be approved soon by the Senate.”
Not only that, but Brazil is not the first country to push this officially; Japan and South Korea include the right to happiness in their constitutions and the British government is spending a bloody fortune on a project to measure citizens’ well-being.
Of course, in 1776, the U.S. Declaration of Independence wrote about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” so perhaps this recent development isn’t really news after all.
Legislation allowing people to be happy? WOW! Really? This seems kinda’ sad.
Do we actually need permission, laws, telling us it’s okay to pursue an “inalienable” right? Doesn’t “inalienable” mean that it is not subject to forfeiture, repudiation, or transfer to another?
As I think about society, the people I come into contact with on a daily basis, even if only superficially, I’m not sure I hear any laughter. Don’t people laugh any more? I’m thinking not so much. Statistics show that children laugh almost all the time, but by adulthood, we are barely even showing teeth. I wrote about this in an earlier blog; here is a quote from June 5th:
“Children smile 400 times a day on average…adults 15 times.
Children laugh 150 times a day…adults 6 times per day.
Children play between 4-6 hours a day…adults only 20 minutes
Robert Holden (from ‘Living Wonderfully’)
I believe this happens because we have lost the belief that we deserve to be happy. What if we knew that our only purpose, as decreed by The Universe, Divine Intelligence, God, whatever you believe runs the place, was to live in a state of happiness? Brene Brown says we need “The courage to be imperfect.” Only because we feel we are flawed – the original sin concept in Christian religion – do we believe that we need to punish ourselves by withholding happiness from our lives. What if we got over that notion? WOW! Would life be good, or what?
But isn’t our mind already made up? And if so, can it be changed? Richard J. Davidson, a pre-eminent researcher on the topic of Neuroplasticity, defines that term as “The brain being the organ built to change in response to experience.” If experience does change the brain because it is malleable, then we need to provide the brain with experiences that change it in the way we want it to move. We need to understand that we are in charge of our brain, not the other way round.
Many protocols help with this process of brain change: daily affirmations, meditation, surrounding yourself with people who live with gusto and good energy, smiling even if you don’t feel like it (fake it ’til you make it) and exercise. WOW!…physical exercise is better for brain health than cognitive exercise because it changes the building blocks for brain growth, allowing new neurons to be born. (Google NPR audio on physical exercise and brain growth – hippocampus – for a good listen on this study.) The study showed that in a control group of unfit people, 40 minutes of walking three times a week was enough to stimulate brain growth.
Bottom line: quit your stinkin’ thinkin’ as Paul Chek always says!
Go to this link for an absolutely beautiful experience that might just change your way of thinking and your life so you don’t have to chase happiness…you will have created it.