This topic is currently very sensitive to me. With my dear friend’s recent suicide, I believe this contributed to her depression. Therefore I feel the need to reiterate. The path to happiness, the quest out of depression, is personal.

No two people will find their peace in life in the same manner.

For some, it will be religion, for others, it will be family, or friends, or finding their passion and embracing it with open arms. It will be similar for many people, but two families are not alike, two friends are not twins. As people are so vastly different, so must their journeys be.

This means that you cannot force your path to happiness on anyone else. You cannot tell them that the only way to happiness is “blank”. It is simply not true, and sometimes it can even make things worse for others.

I will say that those of religion are often the biggest offenders in this matter. I believe that it is because religion gives many people such a sense of peace that they do not see how it cannot give others even a small piece of it. The path to happiness through God or through religion is often so dramatic, so instant compared to the others, that it is easy to see why one would believe that it is indeed the best path.

And while I will not go into the folly of an absolute religion, those who tout theirs must realize that many people find their happiness in other religions, in other methods. There are people who found their happiness through Christianity. Some through Judaism, Buddhism, even Atheism. Some found their happiness through their family, some through their best friend or lover. Some have even found it in solitude, in passions such as acting, running, or painting.

The paths to happiness are as varied as the people seeking them. Always remember to keep that in mind when helping others on their quest. You cannot force them onto your quest.

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