Tag Archives: Happiness

Why is he more successful than me?

Here is a question that we sometimes hear. Immediately, it suggests jealousy. Why else would someone ask such a question, if they were not jealous of someone else? Jealousy is a terrible thing because it if you are jealous, it not only makes others feel bad, but it also makes you feel bad. But, if we think about it, what a strange question it is.

Whatever do we mean by success? Does it mean having a lot of money, a big house and a fancy car? If it does, I am not interested. After all, Christ did not have any of those things. As a matter of fact, he did not have any money, or a house or a car.

I think that a much more interesting question is: Why is he happier than me? I find this question interesting because it seems to me that happiness is much more important than success. Why?

Well, first of all, only a few people are ever going to be rich and have big houses and fancy cars. That is just a fact of life. Secondly, I have met such people and none of them seemed particularly happy to me. For example, I know a lady who is a millionaire. She is miserable. And I will tell you an English saying: she is so miserable that she is ‘as miserable as sin’. That’s a saying that we should think about. Oh, I’m sure that there are some people who are rich and ‘successful’ who are also happy. It is just that I have never met any of them.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people who are happy, but they are not rich and successful. They have very ordinary jobs, most of them rent a house or a flat, some of them don’t even have a car. So they are not really ‘successful’. So what makes them happy? It can’t be their age, because they are all ages, between 9 months and 90 years, it can’t be that they are men or women because they are both, it can’t be their nationality because they come from many different countries and it can’t be because they are married or single because they are both. So what is happiness?

Well, I’ve thought a lot about it and I have come to this conclusion. It seems to me that they are happy because they are content with what they have. They are content with it because they say to themselves: ‘This is what I have and I am going to make the best of it’.

For instance, I often visit people in prison. Now that is not a place where you want to be. I say this to the prisoners: ‘You are in a bad place. So how are you going to survive? You’re going to survive by making the best of it, by using prison as an opportunity to find good and do good. Prison’s your opportunity to prepare the rest of your life for after you get out. It’s a university of life’.

Life is what we make of it. We all know that there are good things and bad things in life. All we have to do to be happy is to look for the good things. We should not even make success into our aim. We should make being contented with what we have inside us and what we can do with it into our aim. Then we shall be happy. But if we spend our lives wanting more things, more money, bigger houses, fancier cars, bigger TVs, newer smartphones and tablets so that we can be happy, then all that will happen is that we will never be happy, because we will always be wanting more money, a bigger house, a fancier car, a bigger TV, a newer smartphone and tablet and so we shall never be satisfied, never content.

One of the worst things for this nowadays is the way that some people use Facebook. Because a lot of people use it to show off and bully others, to show how popular it seems that they are, how many likes they have, how many friends they have, how many holidays they have etc. For them, all of life is a competition and they are the winners. That makes others jealous or even depressed.

I will tell you something about Facebook:

Most, and probably all the people, who show off on Facebook are not happy. They are not ‘winners’, they are what is called ‘losers’. If you are happy, content, you do not need to show off or bully. You keep yourself to yourself, living your life (and not someone else’s) from day to day. And that for me is success.

Award for Metropolitan Hilarion

MOSCOW: June 9, 2017

Greeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia to the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside Russia

To His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,
To the Eminent Archpastors, Members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

Beloved in the Lord Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion, Eminent Archpastors:
I send my sincere greetings to you all, hierarchs of the Russian diaspora, who have gathered in Munich to convene a Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

It is significant that your gathering is held on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, an event of great historic breadth, which put an end to the long division of the Russian nation incurred by the tragic troubles in our Fatherland 100 years ago.

I am happy that many of you were able to participate in the great consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Sretensky Monastery, which took place on the feast day of the Ascension of the Lord. It was on this very feastday in 2007 that, on the ambo of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York inscribed their signatures on the historic Act, opening for us the possibility of praising and glorifying the Most-Holy Name of God “with one mouth and one heart,” and of partaking from one Chalice of Christ. Our joint services in this newly-built church became our common grace-filled prayer to the Lord, Who by His Omnipotent hand led us to the desired unity. Today, ten years later, we bear witness to the good fruits of this unity, fully sensing ourselves members of a single ecclesiastical organism.

Expressing my gratitude to you for your selfless witness to Orthodox Christianity, I call upon you to continue with the same fervor to “edify the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).

To mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, and in recognition of the your zealous labors in strengthening the spiritual unity we have recovered, I deem it worthy to bestow upon the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, the right to wear two panagias within the spiritual territory entrusted to him.

I invoke Divine blessings upon the efforts of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.