Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happiness and Making a Difference

Martin Seligman, the noted psychologist, and some would 
say father of positive psychology, has a great lecture on  Dr. Seligman talks about how to achieve 
happiness.  One of the ingredients is helping and making
a difference by what you do.  

Today I sure felt great happiness.  I got some pleasure by
spending 3 hours on my SUP in smallish, knee to waist high
surf.  I felt as if I made a difference as a volunteer in a 
program that the Jersey Shore Chapter of Surfrider began
6 years ago in Asbury Park NJ.  Today was Asbury Family
Day at the Beach.  

This program is aimed at local Asbury Park kids and 
families most of whom are relatively poor  and minority.
It might sound surprising that people can grow up living a
mile or two from the beach and never experience it.  Hard to 
imagine for a surfer, but a very real fact of life.  For many
years people of color and minorities were discouraged from 
going to the beach.  They weren't really welcomed.  

Imagine the joy of seeing for the first time in your life
a pod of dolphins.  For scores of people today was their
first time.  Imagine exploring the tide line to find creatures
like crabs, mussels, jellyfish and shells for the first time.
Imagine being pushed into a wave and riding your first wave.
That's what Asbury Park Family Day at the Beach is all about.
That's the difference between pleasure and happiness.  

Check out the Seligman lecture on  See if you can
find happiness in your life.

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