Not the Luck of the Irish

Rev. Sherri James asked for a word on “happy”. Happy to oblige!

Happy‘s original meaning came from the word hap, which indicated a chance event or opportunity. Happy originally meant lucky.


Since July of last year, I’ve been shopping for a certified used car. Just about every weekend I have found myself at a car dealer, test driving, checking tires and engines, reviewing warranties.

Source: Wikipedia Eric Hill - originally posted to Flickr as Happy St. Patrick's Day from Boston's Southie
Source: Wikipedia
Eric Hill – originally posted to Flickr as Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Boston’s Southie

I’ll get close and then something happens.

In July, we got to a great price, and then the interest rate jumped 6 points from the original offer. The salesperson disappeared.

I continued driving my old car until it just wouldn’t drive anymore and I kept shopping.

Car dealers are a different breed. Bait and switch, good guy/ bad guy, I know what’s best for you… somehow all underhanded tactics are excused when you are putting thousands of your hard-earned dollars into a binding contract.

Did you know how many times I had to strong-arm a manager to see the contracts before getting into the finance room?

Recently, my friends starting asking me what car dealer I was visiting this weekend. It had become part of my weekend life. I was becoming morose about it. I didn’t want to ask people for rides because what capable adult has to rely on other people? (Public transit where I live isn’t the easiest thing to access.)

Seriously. My sense of happiness was wrapped up in a car.

When do your conditions begin to influence your perception of yourself? What outer events make you happy?

Happy is defined with events and luck. Events shift and change all the time. And so will happiness.

But joy is something different. Joy is a state of being. The root origin of the word joy is source of pleasure, even going as far as being related to nobility and words of pleasure.

Are you pursuing happiness– running after the event– or are you connected with an inner state, a source, of joy?

Do you know the difference? If you struggle with this, you’ll find some help here.

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