Every once in awhile, a dog climbs on the roof of a house and chills out, but if you’re Huck the dog, you do this all the time. How often? So often that your owner has to put a sign on the door.
Join us as we talk about Huck and also about defining happiness, doggy style.
Have you ever come home and been like, “Dang, why is my dog so happy?”
In general dogs are really pretty cool happy animals. And they are amazing because unlike some of us (cough) they don’t hide how they feel. It’s all just out there.
According to Global Dog Breeds, the reasons dogs are so happy are these:
- They forgive
- They live in the present
- They are happy with what they have right there, right now.
- They embrace life.
- They know how to get cozy and comfy.
- They trust their owners.
Carrie’s taking a pretty cool course for free on EdX (sadly, this is not an ad) all about happiness and it’s taught by Arthur Brooks, a professor at Harvard. And all these things about why dogs are happy made her think about that class and some of the teachings from it.
“It turns out that the way we think about happiness is informed by where we live. For example, in some cultures, happiness is defined by social harmony. In others, it’s defined by personal achievement. So the way we answer the question are you happy depends, to an extent, on where we’re from.”
Brooks interviewed the Dalai Lama and his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso shared the following (the quote is taken directly),
“I think very purpose of our daily life. For happy life, firstly, we need some sense of oneness of 7 billion human being on this planet. We have to live together. An individual’s future depends on them, one individual, one of the 7 billion human beings in the group know that.”
Brooks summarizes his points as follows,
“The first is he taught us tonight that happiness comes from being useful and having a life’s purpose, and that purpose, the purpose that we have, our highest purpose is caring for each other, lifting each other up, remembering that each of us is one of 7 billion human beings.
The second way that he made this point is when he talked about unhappiness, which is our own creation.
Unhappiness comes in our own mind because of self-centeredness.
We become unhappy because we’re unnatural, and we are unnatural whom we are thinking only of ourselves. We can only be truly happy when we get out of this creation that is unhappiness by focusing on other people.
The third point that he made was about our intellectual lives, about research and investigation, about our brains, and the importance of sanctifying our intellectual work by putting it in service of our hearts, putting it in service of our love for other people, that in fact, our hearts can be most effective when our brains are fully engaged in the purpose, sanctifying that purpose and loving each other.
And finally, the fourth way that His Holiness made this point that happiness comes from love for others is that we need education, that we need an education system that teaches each of us unity and oneness and sisterhood and brotherhood. And that is our leadership challenge.”
In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Brooks and the Dalai Lama wrote,
“The objective is not to vanquish a person I considered my enemy; it is to destroy the illusion that he or she was my enemy in the first place. And the way to do this is by overcoming my own negative emotions.
Perhaps taking that approach seems unrealistic to you, like a kind of discipline only a monk could achieve through years of concentrated meditation. But that isn’t true. You can do it, too, regardless of your belief system. The secret is to express warmheartedness, kindness and generosity, even in disagreement — and especially when others show you contempt or hatred.”
How do you do that when it feels like other people are taking away yours or others essential human rights? Or putting lives at stake? Or creating or revoking or refusing to revoke polices (be it about guns, abortions, clean water, property rights) that you feel are essential?
That’s really the question.
LINKS AND RESOURCES
XIV, Dalai Lama, and Cutler, Howard C. The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living. Penguin Publishing Group, 2009, 294.
Course: “Managing Happiness,” HarvardX, accessed June 27, 2022.
“Why Are Dogs So Happy.” No author stated. Global Dog Breeds.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!