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Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!
On Happiness…

"Happiness is a Rescued Worm" by Professor Jeffrey Lockwood, entomologist and philosopher
We wish to be happy. Likewise, we hope to have food when we are hungry. We do not merely wish for fullness: We eat. However, we often pine for happiness without doing something about becoming joyful. This is often because we don’t know what will make us happy. The sources of our unhappiness seem too diverse for simple remedies – friendless days, dreary jobs, uncertain finances. There would seem to be no single path to happiness. But every journey begins with a first step, and the initial stride is shared by many paths.
So what is this first step? The simplest acts of warmth nudge us toward joy. Stroking the family cat can create this momentum for me, as her purring dispels the dark clouds of angst. On rainy mornings, I often scoop befuddled earthworms from the busy sidewalk and plunk them back into the lawn. While cold-blooded creatures would seem odd candidates for warmth, their prevalence and vulnerability provide us with rich opportunities for affection.
When J.B.S. Haldane was asked what could be learned about God from the study of His creations, the famous British scientist replied that, in light of biological diversity, the Almighty had “an inordinate fondness for beetles.” Whatever the Creator’s affections, tiny creatures provide us with abundant chances to tend to the vulnerable. We can scoop a spider rather than crushing her or shoo a fly rather than swatting him.
There are, of course, more conventional opportunities to extend a moment’s tenderness in the course of a day: touch a friend, wave to a neighbor, or smile at a sales clerk. When I find myself hungering for happiness, offering a kind word to a co-worker is most assuredly a step in the right direction. But then, so is stepping over a sidewalk ant.

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