Earlier today within the span of only 10 minutes, I observed three little boys come out of their garage and play with hockey sticks, then bikes, then skateboards, then water guns, and then go into their backyard where I heard them jumping on their trampoline and having a great time. Of course, nothing is wrong with any of these activities or toys, in and of themselves. But, it made me think about the constant need for stimulation that our society promotes. Maybe it’s always been like this, but it seems that today the pursuit of happiness really has come to mean the constant pursuit of the “newer,” “ the bigger,” and the “best” — whether that happens to be toys, homes, or relationships.
I have found that this “what’s next” posture impedes true personal progress, peace, and happiness. Why? Because, when caught up in this whirlwind of striving, you are not able to fully enjoy your accomplishments, clearly understand your life’s purpose, sincerely develop meaningful relationships, or unselfishly give service to others. If we are to reverse this unsustainable and destructive trend, we must seriously attempt to become more invested in spiritual and self-development through prayer, quiet-time, and sincere service to others.
Damario Solomon-Simmons, M.E.d., J.D., is the managing partner of SolomonSimmonSharrock & Associates law firm and an adjunct professor of African & African-American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. His life’s mission is to inform, inspire, and empower and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @solospeakstruth.