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The bracketed comment within the post, Light from many lamps – Quotes on mature actions, #7 (2014/03/16) feels at this moment to be among the best on living one’s life more successfully.
#7. “The mintage of wisdom is to know that rest is rust and that real life is love, laughter, and work.” Elbert Hubbard [The action terms would be – kindness, humor, and accomplishment. It is wisdom to know that idleness brings boredom and despair; a happy life is filled with kindness, humor and accomplishment.]
What feels good is the ease of doing any of those kinds of actions. Just choose to do things you can easily do. You don’t have to be a Buddha, a Christ, or a Confucius to do a kind act. I have seen toddlers give a toy to another child, which brought a smile to the face of both children’s faces because of the successful accomplishment of a kindness. If a toddler with a vocabulary of only a few words can do that, surely it is within the capacity of an older child, of an adolescent, of an adult, of a mature person of a sage, of you to be kind.
It is physical acts of kindness that make the real difference because that is love shown in an immediate outward expression where it can be understood by the other person to be supportive of them. Laughter is a wonderful thing too, and it is most wonderful when all of the people are being relieved of some confabulated intellectual stressor that they are all experiencing. Unfortunately, a great deal of laughter is mocking other people in a hurtful way and that is the direct contradiction to the first idea of expressing kindness. It is humor that is kind to everyone and helps them to live their lives more abundantly. Work is generally associated with accomplishment, but work is simply doing some physical action and it can be counter-productive to acknowledged accomplishment. The word accomplishment has built into it the idea of a worthwhile task completed in a competent way, but work does not have that connotation, only an action.
Happiness is to be involved in expressing kindness, humor, and accomplishment. Contentment is to be basking in a life that has given those things to others.