Out of curiosity about comedian/film maker/voice over star Albert Brooks, I found a truth about happiness.
Brooks, whose father died of a heart attack while performing at a roast of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, has been called the “West Coast Woody Allen.” He is also the voice of the hawk character in the animated movie, The Secret Life of Pets, and others. His unique style prompted me to look more into his background, and in the search I found a gut-wrenching dose of wisdom.
He has stated that his greatest fear is that three days before he dies he’ll find out what happiness means.
“The pursuit of happiness” is more than a line in the Declaration of Independence. It is there because all people seek it. I believe you can look no further into the future than the moment you are in when pursuing happiness.
It is hard to pursue something you don’t understand the meaning of. How do you know when you’ve gotten it? Perhaps that is why Brooks refers to the meaning of happiness instead of the condition of happiness. I believe the meaning of happiness is in the moment, too; the meaning is never in the past nor in the future … it is this moment only.
I was talking to a friend the other day who shared the story of her friend who was in a “woe is me” rut when he visited a potential client – M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She described his enlightenment as he walked behind children suffering with cancer, yet they conveyed courage, optimism and joy in their smiles and attitudes.
Happiness is a perspective that has meaning unto itself, as we spend our lives in pursuit of it. It is never in front of you or behind you; it is with you in every moment.