So, as I was recovering from my knee surgery, I read a review of a book, The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner, and subsequently, read the book. Eric Weinder, a NPR correspond travels to different countries all over the world trying to establish common themes on happiness and how it is achieved in different cultures.
Here is my comment on the review above:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This book was an interesting read. Eric Weiner’s journey to find the path to happiness is intriguing and brings out common themes about people who consider themselves happy. One of Weiner’s statements at the end of book sheds light on his conclusions from his worldwide travels:
“Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optimal. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. “
As a Muslim, reading this book made me think about one of my favorite prophetic (peace be upon him) sayings: “Wondrous are the believer’s affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is patient, and that is good for him."
Reflecting on this saying provides peace and contentment of hearts. Happiness is a state of mind, and is a gift from our Lord.
Although Weiner discusses many different facets of happiness (e.g. avoidance of envy, tolerance, family, friends, etc.), he does not discuss the role of community service in depth. I would make the argument that community service/serving others is paramount in dealing with symptoms of depression/sadness and achieving a sense of lasting purpose/fulfillment.
Anyhow, be safe and keep bring interesting topics to the table ,iA.