Thursday, 26 May 2022 13:55

What makes you happy?

Written by  Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller
Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller. Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller.

OPINION: I'm sure we could have a very interesting discussion around what would it take to make you happy.

Would it be just one thing you need or would it take several? I know many in the rural sector would tell me straight up, a change of government would be a great place to start!

I have been an avid reader for many years and continue to be. There is so much learning readily available in good books. I find some of the books and research from yesteryear rather amusing at times, but also fascinating and quite informative.

Here is a little something from my files. Way back in 1900, apparently Westerners wanted 27 different things, and considered 18 of those things to be essential for one to find happiness. Now in today's world, the average Westerner wants 500 different things and considers 100 of them essential to finding happiness.

Yet the truth is, they were probably much happier back then in 1900 than so many seem to be today.

Mrs Google informs me New Zealanders had $6.23 billion out on credit cards, as at 21/08/2020. By 4/11/21, Kiwis were paying $600 million a year in credit card interest. Wow, that's some serious coin!

Do you think it might be connected to all that stuff we just have to have and simply can't live without?

The 100 essentials I mentioned above. Obviously the first 50 haven't cut it, so here's hoping something from the next 50 will!

I have been in a certain – what gets termed ‘Third World’ – country several times over a number of years. One year I took another friend along with me to assist with the schedule we were given.

Like me, he was a father of four. On one of the Sundays, I sent him out to what we had affectionately come to know as ‘The Orphan Church’. A local couple, along with help from their adult daughter, had taken into their home something like 36 abandoned and orphaned children. The youngest would have been around three years old. Before you get the wrong idea, let me clarify something here: they received no assistance or help of any kind, from their ‘government’!


Rain after a long dry spell can make a farmer very happy!

When he joined me for dinner later that Sunday evening, I asked how his day had gone; how did he find the experience? To which he very promptly replied, “It was great; the happiest bunch of kids I’ve ever been with!”

Amazing! Now, how does that work? They had next to nothing, certainly nothing of what children have here in NZ. Other than very basic meals and a place to sleep, they had nothing from that list of 100 essentials.

No boxes of toys were in sight, no big screens, no label clothing, no Saturday sports, no ‘me time’ every day; perhaps I should stop my list about there!

If happiness came from things, then these kids had no chance – none whatsoever. Yep, it’s an illusion to think happiness comes from having heaps of stuff. Any happiness that may attach itself to things can only be fleeting at best. A new model, perhaps the very latest next model coming, will finally do it for you! Really?

The truth is, happiness that lasts the distance is really an inside job. External band-aids in abundance and multiple quick fixes won’t fill the void.

And peace, inner peace, is a huge player here too. Inner turmoil never produces happiness, the two never mix. And that’s where the one known as ‘The Prince of Peace’ can help like no other.

Keep warm and God bless.

To contact Colin Miller email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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