Jacob Serfaty

Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Junior State of America

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The point of life is to find happiness. Don't make money and power your happiness, there is only so much it can do for you.

It is proven that many of the wealthiest men in the world are amongst the saddest as well. Pure happiness can last you an eternity. But what is pure happiness? only you can decide that. Do not let the conformity of life take away what is truly important to you.

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    Jan 30 2012: I get so discouraged every time someone posts the point of life is... Happiness Love Wisdom etc.
    The point of life from the very beginning is to take a breath.
    Once we have that under control, the next point is hydration closely followed by nourishment.
    Following that is safety.
    Happiness is WAY down the list somewhere. If you can't meet the first three, no one is worried about happiness.
    So many people have no clean air, water, food, or shelter.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/aaron_huey.html
    • Jan 31 2012: Hi Linda,

      I am responding to you here, because I am unable on the other conversation where you were following my discussion about hope.

      If there is anything in particular you wish to discuss about any of my comments on hope let me know.

      Mary
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        Jan 31 2012: OK Here is what I was interested in. The conversation was regarding the comment "Hope is
        dispelled in fruition." Which I actually like because it makes sense to me.

        What I was wondering is when else is hope dispelled? Trying to connect historical trauma to understanding this. When hope is dispelled, how do we find it again. How can we instill it in those that are hopeless?

        (Remembering the other discussion, I really don't think higher power stuff is gonna work where I am at.)
        • Jan 31 2012: Wow, your question is a very deep and important one.

          You know Linda, I am no philosopher or psychologist, I just have alot of life experience with people of many, many backgrounds. It has been my personal experience that the human heart is so very sensitive/fragile. It needs to feel love. When we reach out to others in a time of need, we are able to provide a measure of hope.

          Knowing someone cares about you makes life worth living. Life in and of itself is a precious gift that is not to be underestimated. We each play a role in helping others live. And when we look outside ourselves, and try to give to others, all of a sudden we start to feel joyful. This has been my experience.

          The biggest turning point in my adult life was when I realized that I could not control others, I could only control myself. And once I had a purpose for my life, everything else fell into place.

          Let me know if you need me to expound on any of the points I mentioned.
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        Jan 31 2012: Thank you so much Mary and Avenir. Very good ideas and they would work with an individual. My problem is that it is a group of people I am talking about.
        I will give an example. It is not what I do but you can kind of get what I am working on.

        Imagine a women's prison. These women are there because of trauma to themselves and their families dating back generations. They have family that have been taken away, they are serving life sentences. They will die there. (Actually the prisoners are better off because they have food.)

        Where is the hope? How do I help them understand they need to help themselves? Seriously any help is welcome.
        • Jan 31 2012: Linda,
          I really cannot imagine what kind of group it can be.

          Without specifics, I am out of ideas.

          I need specifics...then I can go into my personal references for information to help you.

          I want to email you, but you do not have the email on.
        • Jan 31 2012: I will check back tomorrow....must go to sleep.

          Good night.
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        Jan 31 2012: Hey Mary not too got at this Ted stuff but let me know if email is now open.
        • Feb 1 2012: Hi Linda, I sent you an email.

          Mary
  • Jan 30 2012: To reach true happiness, we need to know what is the purpose of our life.
    People need to eat every day to supply their bodies with energy and to keep themselves healthy. If they stop eating for a period of time, diseases will sneak up upon them and overtake them, and perhaps even kill them. Similarly, people also need food of another kind, food for the spirit and heart. It is unfortunate that while people are careful never to forget to feed their bodies, they do not show the same concern for the health of their souls and hearts. The heart needs food as the body does. The diseases of the body and the debilitating effects they have are not more dangerous than the diseases of the heart and soul.
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    • Jan 31 2012: Avenir, you and I were replying to Linda at the same time....and we ended up saying similar things.

      Those that feel hopeless need help. If we see someone in need of our help, then by all means we should give it.

      Just look how you stepped in with your wonderfull advice.

      Thank you Avenir, I enjoyed reading your comment. Especially since you mentioned the sensitive and scary side of hopelessness, which is difficult to talk about.
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        • Feb 1 2012: Avenir,

          Your illustrations of the crabs was so insightful.

          It illustrates how some who see hope and go for it, are kept back from attaining fruition because someone else pulls them back. There are people like that around me.....the negative nellies.....the envious and jealous.....the full of fear individuals that acquiese to suffering because it is so deeply entrenched in their mind that they know no other way.

          Hope is a great conversation piece. I really enjoyed reading your reflections Avenir.
          Thankyou.
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          Feb 1 2012: Ah Ha! Then you get it! This is also about the later post where if it fails it is worse than allowing the status quo. But the status quo is intolerable. I have to think that if I try and fail, there will be another after me. And perhaps because I tried, their labor may be lessened.

          Oh yeah, by the way, I have a Hispanic father too. What your dad's friend forgot to tell your dad was the dark crabs don't try and escape the boat because the people they love are still on it.

          (We have a similar story about fishing worms in a bucket)
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    Feb 2 2012: True happiness, for a man, in my humble opinion... Is a healthy long term sexual relationship, food, shelter, and water.... Everything else... We built for women : p
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    Feb 1 2012: I agree with your final suggestion to question the norms. To take stock of life and work out what's important for you and how to achieve it. If happiness is important then what makes you more happy. It might just be appreciating what you have. It might be more travel. That takes money. Suggest there is an optimum balance. Work to live.

    If you are starving or can't pay basic bills life is stressful
    I suggest once you get past a certain financial position, money and success is a potential trap.
    Still it feels good if you have a great job, good income, very comfortable life style, reasonably secure and building a good asset base. Nice clothes and good car. Trips. If you can handle those unexpected medical bills. And still save well.

    I don't have the desire to be mega wealthy. But I do fear losing what we have. Or even falling off the upward trajectory.

    I note high income does not necessarily equal wealthy. I hope I would feel comfortable if we had enough to live comfortably without working just for money. I'd be very happy with XXXX in the bank, living off half the interest, free to focus on other projects. Still grateful, if not completely secure.

    A lot depends on who/what you focus on. If your siblings or friends end up doing very very well - that can be a pain if you dwell on it. If you consider how many billions are living each month for what we get in a few hours, with our smart phones, big tvs and tablets, you almost feel guilty. The top 1% is almost obscene.

    Additionally there is a danger if too much of your Self/ego is tired up in your job and your status etc.

    Money is important to survive and to give you freedom to pursue what makes you most happy. It s a means to and ends not the end in itself - although I prefer the car I have now to my first jalopy. And lets be realistic we feel better and are treated better if we have money and status. Just you don't want to rely on that alone. Like being young and healthy - enjoy it - but don't rely on it.
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    Jan 31 2012: Re: "Pure happiness can last you an eternity"
    Really,and we know this how? Sounds like a belief to me.
    Let's start with the simple one, define "happiness" (we can leave out the 'pure' part)