Our first Lifelong Learning Happiness class yesterday was great fun, over in the Ingram Building across the street that used to be a Baptist church before the university bought it. The amusing irony is not lost on me, that I’m preaching happiness in a place I had to leave, to find our subject and my calling. Big change.
I had plenty of room to roam, with my mobile mic in the former sanctuary, as we introduced our topic and ourselves. It was quite a change from my usual classroom situation, to be in the presence of so many “mature” learners (not decades younger than I) who got all my dated references, laughed at my bad jokes, and weren’t at all reticient to speak up and say what they’d learned over a lifetime.
One of the points they seemed to concur with: happy people aren’t afraid to make a change. Gretchen Rubin, for instance, whose ongoing Happiness Project (not to be confused with Project Happiness, also dedicated to positive change) is happening because she found life in the legal fast lane insufficiently gratifying. She acknowledged the necessity of change.
Chris Phillips also comes to mind. He left a lucrative advertizing career to launch Socrates Cafe.
And then there’s Matthieu Ricard, the molecular biologist who left France for Tibet, became the Dalai Lama’s French translator and “the happiest man in the world.” We’ll talk about him next week. Can’t wait.
6 am/5:53/7:34, 55/69/49
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