The starting point of happiness is to practice giving love, instead of taking love. We may complain about our environment, sometimes even lashing out at others through blame, anger, resentment, or hatred. When we wake up to the fact that we started with nothing and received help from many people, we can be grateful for what we have been given and what we already have, and therefore strive to give back to society through our actions. It all depends on the attitude we choose to have.
Then, what is love? In The Starting Point of Happiness, author Ryuho Okawa defines love this way:
Love is a blessing. Love is giving courage, strength, and hope to the people we meet in our lives. Love is the will to help everything develop and to create harmony. Giving love is compassion, or a merciful heart.
Love is the heart of God
Even those who don’t believe in God can probably believe in the power of love, or the infinite value of love.
A true love is a selfless love
It is a love that sets others free instead of binding, imprisoning, or enslaving them. A true love is pure and doesn’t expect any reward, gratitude, or thanks from others. It is a love that wishes for the happiness of others without expecting anything in return.
False love is a love that takes and expects something in return. False love is egotistic, selfish, deceptive, and two-faced. False love, or taking love, wants to capture someone and control his or her mind. It is a love with attachments.
The principles of the universe are very simple. True love is given for nothing, for free. The source of love is God, who is Love Itself. Can we believe this? Can we understand this? Are we willing to live according to these Truths or not? The answers to these questions can shape the course of our lives.
Life is a trial, and you are being tested day by day. So, start with giving love. Set your daily goal on how you can give love to others. What sort of love can you give to people and society?
For many people, giving love may seem difficult to put into practice because the world now is so cutthroat and competitive, and it seems disadvantageous for us to give love to others and not expect some form of compensation in return.
But Okawa teaches us not to be jealous of others, but instead have a heart that blesses others and think of other people’s happiness as your own happiness.
Cast aside hatred and embrace love
I know this may sound a little too poetic and too idealistic, but it is a grand universal Truth of happiness.
Being a negative unhappy person is not the normal healthy state for human beings. We human beings are expected to strive to be happy and to create a happy life for ourselves and others while living in this world on Earth, although we may sometimes have to struggle to achieve this purpose.
Finally, let me once again refer back to the question: what is The Starting Point of Happiness?
Okawa puts it beautifully like this:
The starting point of happiness lies in your determination to give love to others and to society with a selfless heart. If you allow your inner light to shine forth, its light will spread to others. Just like the flame of a candle, love never diminishes. In fact, the more you give, the more love increases. With this perspective in mind, live in a way that you can be the first flame of a candle, or a torch. Make sure that your happiness leads to other’s happiness as well. This is the basic idea of Happy Science.
Let us summon the willpower, courage, and strength within us to transform and move forward on this day on, to put into practice these wonderful and wise teachings that will surely improve our lives and future.
Until next time. Thank you for reading!
The Starting Point of Happiness
An Inspiring Guide to Positive Living with Faith, Love, and Courage
Ryuho Okawa empowers spiritual seekers to find the strength amidst difficult circumstances and to savor the joy of giving love to others. This self-renewing guide to positive living will awaken us to spiritual truths that invite authentic and lasting happiness.