“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha
I have known, through my many years as a priest, a lot of people who would be considered “rich” or “blessed”. Some were rich in the truly monetary sense of the word. They made more money in interest for just one month than I made in salary for a year. Others were rich, or blessed, because they had incredible gifts and talents that took them to the heights of their profession. They were nationally, if not internationally, known. Their power and influence was incredible.
Of those people I have known, some were incredibly happy and fulfilled and some were absolutely miserable and lonely. What was the one factor that made them happy and fulfilled or miserable and lonely, you might ask? It all depended upon how much of themselves, how much of their time, how much of their talent, how much of their treasure, how much of their influence they gave to or used for others.
The Buddha stated that happiness never decreases by being shared. That is absolutely true. As a matter of fact, happiness increases by being shared. When we give of ourselves in various sorts of ways, we find satisfaction and reward in the process. We feel good about doing good for others. That feeling leads us to give and to do even more.
Just as happiness increases by being shared, the opposite is true as well. Happiness decreases when it is not shared. Happiness is not a solely personal feeling. Happiness is something that is experienced in the midst of others. When we share our happiness, we become more happy knowing that we have touched the lives of others in different sorts of ways. When we do not share our happiness, we find ourselves drifting from others and becoming more alone.
We were made to be social beings. We were made for relationship with others. That is how we learn how to have and maintain a relationship with God. If we drift from others, we will drift from God as well. That, my friends, is the recipe for disaster. Drifting from God will make us feel alone and miserable. In that state and frame of mind, we will have nothing to share.
Share freely and lovingly today. It will build you up and strengthen your relationship not only with your brothers and sisters here on earth but with your God who loves you incredibly.
FAITH ACTION: Do not be afraid to share of yourself — your time, talent, and treasure — with others. The more you give, the more blessed you will become.