“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Gautama Buddha …
Sometimes we find ourselves thinking that sharing somehow takes away from the total reserves we have available to us–that in our giving some of what we have away, we simply have less left over for ourselves. But that is never the case when it comes to happiness–an intangible gift of the heart that cannot be lessened even in our giving. Just as the flame of a candle is passed on to another candle, when we share of our happiness, our talents, our abilities, our love, our compassion, and on and on, we retain our own supply whilst passing it on.
We all need each other to share happiness with us at different chapters in our lives–chapters in which we experience suffering, loss, and grief, chapters in which we find ourselves lost and alone, chapters in which we feel overwhelmed with unhappiness and pain. And that is the amazing thing about it: when our brothers and sisters candles go out, and they feel lost and alone in the dark, we can be there to light their fire once again. And it will not decrease our own happiness one bit. In fact, it will actually add to it, as we will now find we have added positively to the life of others and the world around us.
This quote brings to mind the song “Candle on the Water,” sung by Helen Reddy in the Disney movie Pete’s Dragon. There is a stanza in it that goes, “I’ll be your candle on the water. This flame inside of me will grow. Keep holding on you’ll make it; here’s my hand so take it. Look for me reaching out to show.” We each can be a candle for those in need. And we need never feel insignificant, for even the smallest of flames can light countless candles.
Spread happiness to those you meet today.
Questions to consider:
How can we be sure that our own happiness will not decrease if we share it with others?
What are some ways you can share happiness?
What does sharing happiness mean to you? How important is it in your life, and in the lives of those around you?
For further thought:
“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” ~ Bernard Melzer