We are thought when evangelising to ask this two question as an ice breaker and a way to get people to think. It must be asked in this order (I think, obvious not the best evangelist)
- What makes you HAPPY?
- Is that all there is to life? What is your purpose?
These two questions are a doozy to ask a random stranger. The usually give you the deer in the headlight look before you get the usual answers to question one: my family, my friends, my partner, eating, going out, dancing, money, travelling etc.
But when you ask is that all there is to life…they pause. They don’t want to just say yes cause that sounds so small compared to LIFE. Every human being wants and needs a sense of purpose…that their actions have meaning and the effect will persist even after that are gone.
However, the answer is actual that simple, the purpose of life is happiness, but not just yours. The purpose of life is for happiness to abound and overflow. And the potential for the greatest gain of happiness does not come from material things but from social connections i.e. LOVE.
Even the quest for understanding which some people claim to be their purpose in life is fuelled by the happiness they gain from knowledge and experimenting. But I can guarantee that if Newton, Da Vinci or Edison saw what we have accomplished with their ideas they would be even happier.
Now there are as many philosophies on ways to attain happiness as there are people and religions. I subscribe to a few of them myself but there will always be a number one and to be that is Jesus. Now, I didn’t say Christianity or even Catholic. I am just talk of the manner of man that is Jesus.
One of my friends who is an atheist sent me a research report that attempt to debunk the fact that Jesus ever existed. It had a lot of citations and carbon dating hoopla writing throughout. I don’t even remember most of it and if you go to the Vatican they have all their hoopla that shows Jesus is God and he walked amongst us (should really read more of those books but they are always so boring, dogmatic and religious… why can’t Francine Rivers write one of them- I would read that).
However, my argument to him was okay it is just a story right…then read it carefully as a story and tell me what you think. You may think I am misguided in this approach but if you have seen Brandon Sanderson’s classes on world building, you will begin to understand the complexity of a character like Jesus.
Jesus is a personification of the best things of humanity. He lived a life that was LOVE itself. Most of his miracles were not just him showing of signs and wonders but whey fuelled by the faith of the receivers which just goes to show the power of belief and placebo effect. It is your faith that sets you free. Believing in him is a way to make your burden light because he will carry you on the path of the way, the truth and the life. The way to the Father who is LOVE.
So no matter what you believe once you are on the path that is Jesus (Christ-centric lifestyle) you are in the pursuit of happiness.
And this is such an exciting time to be alive because we are realising this on a global scale. Wellbeing Economics and Sustainable Development are becoming the norms. Clean Energy, Virtual Reality, AI, Machine Learning, Robotics are the future. With our advancement in technology, just like in the industrial age we will be able to overcome Malthusians Theory of Population, using innovation to control our population, reduce our effect of the environment and increase our standard of living.
And our simple guiding principle will be:
love, LOVE, will all your heart, all your mind, all your body and all your soul. And love everyone as you love yourself.paraphrased from Jesus Christ
Yes, I am an Optimist. It is based on belief.