Dostoevsky on counting joys and troubles

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13 thoughts on “Dostoevsky on counting joys and troubles

  1. Reading Julia Cameron’s, “The Right to Write” and she would totally agree with Dostoevsky. She states: “Happiness is not only a mood. It is a decision.” I think she and he would have gotten along… 🙂

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    1. Interesting! There are certain types of happiness one can choose (see my comment to Tim), though it may not look like “happiness” in our usual sense of the word.

      How do you like Cameron’s book? I’ve heard good things about it, but haven’t read it.

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      1. Love it, Laura. Absolutely love it! I’m going to purchase it so I can highlight it…My friend took a course with her and asked if I’d be interested in taking one someday…Maybe if I hit the lottery and can afford it, I’m going to! 🙂 If you read it, let me know what you think, ok? I picked up a book by Natalie Goldberg today. She also was highly recommended by my friend. 🙂

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    1. Yeah, there are certain lots that don’t seem conducive to happiness. (Death of a child, for example, or being imprisoned in a death camp.) Maybe it depends on the definition of happiness. It might look more like joy (in a Christian sense) than our usual idea of happiness as upbeat and optimistic. I remember reading in Corrie ten Boom (or Boon?)’s book The Hiding Place that she and her sister were thankful for the fleas in their barracks in the Nazi concentration camp because that meant the guards usually stayed out of there, giving them more freedom in one of the least “happy” places imaginable.

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      1. I recall a pastor from China who spoke of his imprisonment and how he volunteered to work in the cesspool because that was the one place where he could get away from the guards and sing hymns without being punished for it. The on he said he sang most was “In the Garden.” and that he looked on that place as his personal garden with Jesus.

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  2. I think sometimes we equate happiness with everything being just exactly as we want it, which though a natural thing for most people, can be unconsciously selfish. My happiness in the natural wouldn’t be too high at the moment for a number of reasons, but I have a growing peace within me. And where my illness has become almost unbearable (I have CF) it means I have no choice but to call on God for healing, and in the process I am starting to forge a closer relationship with Him. Isn’t that a great part of true happiness for us Christians, to have a close relationship with Jesus? All the rest I just can’t worry about.

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  3. As has been suggested above, I think it is a challenge to see every lot as having sufficient happiness. A lot of it depends on being given fresh vision to see the good around us — but sometimes what someone is going through can be so difficult that it’s very hard to see the blessings. That’s why we need others, so that if we can’t see beyond the moment, someone else can, and can hold us up and accompany us through the difficult times.

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    1. Yes! Our perspective is so limited (for some more than others) and we can’t always see the happiness in our particular lot; we always need others to help. Thanks for mentioning that, Jeannie.

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