Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Life is a highway…going where? January 8, 2013

“Car ride” is probably one of my most favorite people phrases. Never have there been two words more synonymous with adventure. While I do tend to enjoy exciting destinations like the dog park or grandma’s house, the journey is just as exciting. I think its the mystery I find in not knowing where we’ll end up.

Are we turning left or right? Are we staying on the straight and narrow? Who knows? Thinking about this, I couldn’t help but wonder, is it the questions (not the answers) that make the journey as exciting as the destination? As a lover of words, I suppose its no surprise that I am bursting at the seems with questions. I know a lot of them are nonsense, but I can’t picture life’s journey without them…questions push me, challenge me, make me think.

Understanding that car rides make me happy because of the adventure and adventure stirs up questions, I stumbled across a curious answer to one of life’s most serious questions: what is happiness to me?

Because of my time with Simple Abundance, I’ve been more aware of what it means to be happy (the answer), but perhaps that isn’t as important as the pursuit of happiness itself (the questions). Pursuit is no ordinary word. It requires one to first make a choice to engage, but more importantly to actively remain engaged in obtaining whatever the end result is.

“Happiness is a living emotion,” Breathnach tells us today. And since I’ve been in the habit of noticing happy things, I’ve noticed two different references to happiness on the walls of my forever home. Ironically, they both involve action on the part of the beholder.

French novelist and memoirist George Sand once wrote of only one happiness in life: “to love and be loved.”

Ultimately putting those words to action is Mahatma Ghandi who challenged that “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in perfect harmony.”

The dog park and grandma’s house make me happy, but so does the ride to get there. Happiness is not a destination. Its so much more. Its recognizing moments that make up the journey that piece lifelong happiness together.


Love the questions by living the answer January 1, 2013

I’ve got a bone to pick with George Eliot. While she is a beloved English novelist and journalist in the Victorian era, she got animals all wrong.

“Animals are such agreeable friends,” she once said, “they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” There is no question that dogs are man’s best friend. As such, we love unconditionally and without criticism. That much is true. But the mention of our perspective on questions is where she went wrong.

Big or small, my mind is full of questions…how does that squirrel keep outrunning me in the backyard? Are those animals on the moving picture window real? What is my purpose in life?

Wiley QuestionDay two with Simple Abundance challenges me to ponder the value of these questions. “The answer to your questions will come, but only after you know which ones are worth asking,” Breathnach writes.

The insightfully witty French philosopher Voltaire takes it so far as to suggest one “judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Well, that is a might high order for day two of this, my very own existential journey. Especially since I have every intention of answering the challenge with what might be the most important questions of all – what are my most important questions in life? How can I narrow it down to the ones that matter most?

For inspiration I turn to Johnny Depp, who happens to be one of my favorite actors.

“There are four questions of value in life…” he said. “What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.”

I seek my ultimate inquisition in that answer: only love. If it is having too many question that I fear, I shall embrace them rather than turn them away. I will love the questions because I live the answer.