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Building own happiness on other people’s unhappiness....

...is not possible, or what would you say? At the heart of Buddhist teaching lies that it is impossible to build own happiness on other people’s unhappiness. Joined with the more Christian inspired “treat others the same way you want them to treat you” you will find one can never be happy if that happiness depend on other people’s unhappiness. If building own success (thinking this lead to happiness) requires making other people miserable, sure it can make you rich, famous, popular and all those things many of us are striving for – yet, it cannot bring you happiness. Or am I wrong? 

Many who step on others’ toes to reach their goals seem happy enough. Let’s use career promotion as an example. Are they really? Difficult to answer as many seem to sail unaffected through life as if those whose lives they have contributed to destroy do not even concern them. Some seem to find it easy to do so, they don’t even question the impact of own actions, while others could never imagine doing the same thing even if that would bring them a glorious future. This is not a matter of choice really, but about personal ethics. 

Here is the next question: do people find it easy to step over others because they are unhappy themselves? I believe yes, to a certain extent. In many cases it is all about self-respect, about jealousy or about feeling threatened by (the superiority of) others. In that aspect, “getting rid of” those that are in their way, seem a solution for own promotion. In other words, they would seek their goals (indirectly related as part of what make them happy) at the expense and unhappiness they force upon others. I could be wrong – I just assume they must be unhappy. 

So you had a goal in mind but you failed to achieve it – that being getting the person you loved or being bypassed in promotion for a higher position or you simply got humiliated. Get over it and live your own life. That is not to say, accept status quo but it also does not mean wasting time on things you cannot change in any case, especially not by wrongdoing to others. Being happy is a choice, and the choice you make is doing the right or wrong thing.

 

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