More than just salary and things for happiness. Our values is revealed in what we say. What are other dimensions for happiness and joy. Mencius can tell us. We can compare it with the Bible too.Some friend in Facebook shared a photo containing the following encouraging quote:
Be Grateful, that you don't have everything you want. That means you still have an opportunity to be happier tomorrow, than you are today.On reflection, I felt that the encouraging quote could be better if it just stops at "Be grateful". Adding the extra "that you don't have everything you want...." reveals the author's values framework. It consists of optimism, always look at the bright side of life. However, it is still in the dimension of materialism of more things means happier life. Not that material possessions are bad but that life is much more than that. In Luke 12:15, Jesus warned us of greed for wealth. Then he said to them, "Be careful to guard yourselves against every kind of greed, because a person's life doesn't consist of the amount of possessions he has."
By the way, no one will admit that he is greedy though we often complain we have not enough and forget about Ps 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
To see the other dimensions, let me quote from Mencius that I happened to be reading:
君子有三乐，而王天下不与存焉。 父母俱在，兄弟无故，一乐也； 仰不愧于天，俯不怍于人，二乐也； 得天下英才而教育之，三乐也。
Wise man has 3 joys and being a ruler is not one of them. Parents are well and bothers and sisters have no problems is the first joy. Looking up to heaven and feeling no guilt against God; looking down on earth and feeling no guilt towards anyone is the second joy. Having the best and talented students to teach is the third joy.In Mencius mind, having power to rule the nation is not a joy. Material possession is also out. The true joy is in the 3 dimensions of family wellness, a life of integrity and righteousness and having good disciples. Are not those values biblical?
If you are a believer, I am sure you know how to count your blessings. Thank God that we know Him and letting us to be his instruments to bring His love and blessings to others is a joy indeed.
Being grateful is the foundation to joy.