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15

Happiness Is to Be Desired Filst. I,OBt and A ll the Time

P21ing

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Tenth Mile1toillle

By P a u l P. Harris

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\V I STI you a II appy Nell- Rot ari an Year .

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Th at is to say :
I hope t hat the coming year may prove t o be one of tho happ y periods
which will go t o make up your happy li fe, and I hope th at Hotar y may be
a mean s of makin g your share of happiness more abundant than it ot herwise would have been.
We have been wishing each other Happy New Years so long an d so
often that our words are somet imes not even trite ; th ey are empty .
I have wished you happin ess and I have expressed th e hope th at Rotar y
may be a means of con tributing to your store. T ha ve wished yon much, bu t
T ha ve not wished yon more th an T have wished Rotary. If Rota ry is to he
a t rue messenger of happiness, it is to reali ze it s highest possible destiny.
The salutati on- "A Mer ry Christmas and a Happy Ne w Year"- allows one day for Merri ment bu t Th ree Hundred and Sixty-Five for H appiness.
'
We can sta nd mu ch more happ iness th an merriment. Who ever heard
o f a li fe too happy?
Th e Amer ican Declarati on of Independence proclaimed the inalienable
right not only to life and liberty hut also to the pur suit of happ iness.
Could th ere have been a higher tribute paid to happi ness?
H appiness is to be desired first, last and all of th e t ime. It is th e
Ulti ma Thul e of all laud able hu man ambi tion. I am not speaking of th e
excit able feverish bra nd of happiness. I refer to the common place, peaceful,
even-temperer] happiness that gcts into one early in th e morni ng, even hefore breakf ast and stays all day. H appiness is a hall owed won], an d might
well also he a haloed word, haloed In- Rotar y's lum inous circle.
T devoutly believe happi ness to' he the 'natural order of things. H ealth,
happiness' first pr erequisite, and not sickness, is the natura1 order of things.
It is not God's fault, if we are unh app y.
I believe th at nature is lawful. not lawless. and tha t civilizat ion's
progress depends up on how succossfulwo ar c iu discoverin g the law. Th ere
is a cause back of everv effect.
It would be st range would it not, if th e power which ru les thi s wonderful ma teria l uni verse with such consu mmnto precision even to the last littl e
detail wore to leave t o caprice, so vital a considera tion as th e happiness of
men ?
H appiness is our natural heri ta ge and if we fall short of realizing it ,
we shall he depri ver] 0 1', more likely, we shall he depri ving ourselves of that
which is rightfully ours .
H is marvelous and piteous what a world of woe man can create for
himself, if he t ries, and he need not t ry \'C ry hard at that.
H app iness has some mortal enemies, among the most form idable of
which are-ill-health, drun kenness, g lut tony, lI'(;rry, fear, hate, jealousy,
selfishness, thoughtlessness, mism-l inoss. oxtra vagnno, laziness, 100'e o f display; but it also has good fri ends such as gOOI] health , temperan ce, clear
conscience, fearl essness, love, kindn ess, thoughtf ulness, friendliness, consirlerat ion, economy, fran kness, fairness, sincerity aUI] simplicity .
Th e enemies of happi ness arc loyal to t heir cause and are ge nerally
founl] together . T he same may he "ail] of th e fri end of happin ess. F ew

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THE ROTARIAN
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of t he enemies of happiness ca n rem ain in the society of th e fr iends of


ha pp iness, and sti ll continue to live . T he f riends of hap pin ess arc numerou s
enough and powerfu l enoug h to a nni hi late all of its enem ies if g iven a
chance,
:\l any of us see k happi ness in strange places, in places where it si mply cannot be
fo und, The cause of t his is, of cou rse , t houg htlessness, N o man would t houghtfully
gh-c him self p a in.
Rig drea ms of Rotary are g radually coming true, and encourag ed by past per f ormances, we dare to dream agai n and of even higger t hings . I someti mes sec, or
t h ink I see, Rot ary th e harbinger of a gen er al world wide phil osophy of business 00'.1
of life, with ha ppiness a s its goal.
Don 't you t hi nk much of philosophy , F r iend f
W hy ph ilosophy is a t t he bottom of a lmost everyt h iug. ' It is t he f oundat ion of
It
perman en t happiness, and it li es way down benea t h the ver y laws of t he Janet
was t he f ound nfion upon wh ich bo t h the :\ragn3 Charta a nd the Consti t utio n of t he
U nite d St a tes were placed , ""C' a TC somet imes d is pose d to th ink of la w not only as
a gu ide t o human con d uct hut also as a fu ndamenta l cause ; hut bless ~' O I1 , s uc h is
not the rase, law is an effcct : a law which is not based upon sound phil osophy ca nnot
be serv icea ble to mankind. F'i rst comes the philosop her and then th e legislator.
B uild lip the r i~ht k ind of a f'u n dam en t nl philosophy of lif e in a coun t ry and t he
laws can 't ~o wro ng.
W e h a ve l:I\YS on our statute hooks today II:Hl enongh to make men l a ll ~h , sa d
enough to make t hem weep.
'Ve need in this wor ld a much hetter and clearer un d erst an d in g of t he wort h
of so me t hing s nn d of the wort hlessness of ot hers.
.
Rot a ry has demonstrated its alrility to contribute towa rd the world '8 supply of
happiness by eleva t ing b usiness to a eom pa u ionnblo sta ndard. Most of lI S have to
l ive prett y near to b us iness and it is worth while to ha ve ta ken a part in the great
movement s of the day t end ing t oward t he idcali zing of trad e. In t his ros poet t he
a dvent of Rota ry was pa r t icul arl y opportu ne. It ha s oft en see med to me t ha t we
should st op th er e, lest our fire be come t oo much sca ttered to be effe ctive. At ot her
more sanguine moments, it has see med to me, in view of the heart that has evide nced
itse lf in past endea vors, t hat it would not be presumptuous, were we to look the
en tire h ig j ob ri g ht in th e f a ce-s-Lif e it self, a nd ri se to th e task of undertaking its
better ment.
If ( imp rove my mode of livin g , my h nsiu ess will be very likely to be benefited.
) [any business succ esses are the direct conse que nce of ri ~h t li ving , outs ide of business ; and many business f ail ur es are direct ly t raceable to wrong Jiving. The business life and th e home life a re not inde pen de nt of each ot her ; th ey are interde penden t ,
one upon the other .
We shall ha ve a Rotarian ~ood book some day , a sort- of Rotarian b ihle : not a
disconnected product of many a nd di verse minds, hut a care f ully evolved compe ndi um
of , n ot a Ro ta r ia n ph il osophy of th e day, bu t of THE Rot arian philosophy nf th e da y
- not t he Rot arian ph il osoph y f or all t ime to ro me, j'N'aU"e Rot a r ia n philosophy will
alwa ys be progressive.
Cha pt er by chapt er , J would love to see the grea t hook bu ilt up , not ra pid ly ,
I n my optimistic moment s, I ca n see it ta ke place among the f oremost of t ho worl n '~
product ions of its kind . It will fill a long f elt wan t , What a ple asure it. will he when
we really have so met hing definite to show; when we ca n hand our hook to a f r ien d
a nd say- ' , Th ere, ~[ y F r iend . wit hin th e rovers of th a t hoo k yo u will find all t hnt
Rot ary hold s dear. Read it. it will do yo u good." " Not a Rot aria n ' Hush man .
every one with the love of the world in his heart is a Rota rian; you n.1(~an that you
are not a member of an v Rot ary Club; t hat is (lifferent . "
We arc pa saing our' ten th jnilestone now. ~[ay our happine ss increase wit h our
usefulness. Wh a t Rotary will l-e One Hundred yen rs hence. none li ving cnn imag ine.
T her e is nothin g imp ossible t o Rot ar y now.
J beli eve t hat Rot ar y will live : if it li ves , it will g ro\\'.
There may come a nay somet ime ( f or even we must obey t he inexorable law :111el
grow old), a day when we shall not care longer to he a r the resp onsihi l it v imposed
upo n 11S by our present plan of membership. Wh nt shall we do t hen-e-Res ign ? Perhap s
not , i f not , possibly then will come the dawn of the day' l Greater Botu ry. "
May yo ur happiness cont in uo and incr ease . )fay it mature some nay into r-i ch ,
ri pe content ment , hnp piness g rown mello w. a na may t he pea ce "3 11 C1 ~a ti sf:1C' t i fl ll whi eh
come s of Iives well S I'P Tlt and work \\"(,11 do no hp Y011I'S.