What do we do when we are faced with two opposing views about happiness? One is coming from the angle that it is ok to be happy so long it does no harm to others because being happy is beneficial to one’s wellbeing. The other is coming from the angle that it is perhaps not so good for those steeped in religion to depend on religion to be happy because it indirectly discriminates others, such as holding on to the idea of a god who only cares about the comforts of selected people but not the sufferings of other people.
My take on this is that yes, we can be conscious that there are others around us suffering, and at the same time, we need to take care of our wellbeing first so that we can help others as and when necessary. Otherwise, we may unnecessarily impose guilt on ourselves by thinking it is improper to be happy instead of helping other people continually, thinking it is selfish to not take care of other people’s needs all the time.
Mother Teresa said we may not be able to help 100 people, but we can help one. So by being kind to ourselves and our neighbours around us, I dare say we all are already making positive impact in bettering humanity.
Marianne Williamson said when we love and accept ourselves, we give others the permission to love and accept themselves when they see how we enjoy our own company or solitude.