Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Happy Moment

In 1998, Martin Seligman, President of the A.P.A. (American Psychological Association) saw that until then psychology had been focused on why people are messed up and not why they are happy. He said, "I realized that my profession was half-baked..." So he guided the A.P.A. in a new direction as they began to research "the enabling conditions that make human beings flourish."

Some of the results were published in the January, 2005 edition of Time magazine. They concluded that it was not money, power & sex that made people happier but rather two key elements. One was keeping a gratitude journal and the other was performing acts of altruism. In other words being thankful for what we have and doing kind deeds makes a person happier. I didn't flinch when I read this. Jews have been saying this for thousands of years! Being thankful and doing kind deeds is built into the core of Judaism.

The first thing a Jew says in the morning is "modeh ani" which means "I am thankful" and one of the most admired figures of the Torah, Abraham, is famous for the kind deeds he did. These are small examples of just how ingrained these two happiness factors are in our religion.


At 8/10/2006 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Torah of Life!


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