“No One’s Happiness but My Own is in My Power to Achieve or to Destroy” – The Book of Rabyd 2:4
Originally this Quote by Ayn Rand was The Book of Rabyd 2:10; but with my desire to remove duplicate quotes as far as quotes from the same people, she jumps to 2:4. This also presents a problem of the fact I have eliminated about six verses at this point so some new people to quote from will be necessary to get the other points. I may jump ahead to chapter three and then drop those verses from chapter 2 in when they come to me. The Book of Rabyd is after all not a closed canon of scripture like some.
This statement is more complicated the more you meditate on it. But let’s break it down.
The first concept is that you cannot make people happy. I think this is the most enlightening thing as I have watched people give their all trying to make others happy and then get frustrated that 1) They fail or 2) They are not happy themselves. There is a lot of energy saved emotionally and mentally when you figure this out.
You can make yourself happy, in fact, your own happiness is the only happiness that you can really strive to achieve. You also are the only person who can destroy your own happiness. That is not to say that others can’t affect your happiness or life and general, but how you perceive, interpret and/or act about those things that determine your happiness and those are all in your power to do.
That’s not to say your emotions cannot be entwined with another. I think Heinlein’s definition of love is applicable here. The notion of love being where someone else’s happiness is essential to your own and vice versa. In the case of love, even here through the choices and who has the power over your happiness is still you.
In my own life, this principle has been difficult, even though the truth of it resonates with my soul. Being an empathic person kind of causes people’s emotions to affect you at times, like it or not. That said it is still my choice of whether or not to let that affect my happiness in general. I find also that memory can be a difficult thing to deal with at times. I have choices to make about each and every time I remember things because my memories are highly emotional which of course causes me to relive them like they were yesterday.
All in all, though, the principle is true. It is just you might have to make a lot of decisions and fight a lot of battles to stand on that mountain top of happiness. It is, however, your power to achieve or destroy.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.