In our pursuit of happiness, we make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others. When people have more than we have, we think that they are happier than we are. If we have more than others, we think we are happier than them. However, the thing with comparing oneself to others is that we will never be happy.
In the Gospel, we hear of a generous landowner who decided to give all laborers a daily wage pay regardless of the number of working hours. What was his reason? Any amount smaller than the daily wage pay would not be sufficient to feed the family. Despite the good intention, we hear that not everyone was grateful and happy.
Hence from the Gospel, three things we remember in our pursuit of happiness:
- Do things for the love of doing them. Each of us are placed in this world for a certain mission, calling or purpose. Pursue that passion in life and you will truly be happy. However, if one does things just for the money, that person will never be happy because of the tendency to always compare. Sadly, this is what happened to the workers in the Gospel.
- Be happy for others. A truly happy person is one who can be happy for others when they experience good fortune. Further, a truly happy person knows also how to empathize when other people experience difficulties in life. In the same Gospel story, all the workers came from one town and are supposed to be neighbors and even relatives. Yet, it is envy that got the better of them.
- Gratitude. The sad reality of the workers is that they forgot to be grateful that they could work, that there was work, and that they were compensated. Hopefully we can stop for a minute and count our own blessings in life.
This is the second year under the pandemic and despite the changes in the life that we live in, three prayers t remember:
- Continue to pursue your passions in life
- In a life wherein nothing is certain, let us be there for each other
- Let us always be mindful of gratitude