Maintaining Personal Happiness in the Midst of Madness

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While I have been actively and successfully working on my own personal happiness and growth, senseless violence persists. People are hurt. Lives are lost. Families are left with nightmarish grief.

Within 13 hours, our country has experienced 2 mass shootings. According to Wikipedia, at the time of this writing, the total for 2019 alone is 253.

I’m afraid I am becoming stoic about these frequent and horrendous events. When I first hear of yet another mass shooting, I don’t even gasp in shock. My first thought is,  “Just another day in America.” And I expect nothing to be done.

Because I feel hopeless. Outraged, grieving families form petitions and organizations to combat gun violence, but at this point I am too cynical to even hope any change will occur.

I don’t want to feel hopeless. But I also don’t want to be Pollyanna-ish that a solution will present itself anytime soon.

Meanwhile, I gotta wonder, just what is an appropriate response? If I feel numb, I feel guilty. But I can’t even bring myself to cry about these situations. After all, I was personally  affected. And what good would my wallowing in sorrow do for anyone? I’m extremely grateful nobody I know and love has been affected by any of these horrible events, but it’s awfully disheartening as these occurrences drop like bombs randomly peppering our nation with fear and pain.

I have lately been very happy in my personal life, but my life is brimming with blessings. The trick is to maintain happiness when you are facing difficult times. The truly enlightened folks, like my Buddhist friends, seem to have achieved this happiness. And finding that sort of unshakable happiness is a goal I hope to reach even as our country continues to be afflicted with this never-ending bombardment of violence.

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