Skip to main content

tv   Dennis Prager on Happiness and Goodness  CSPAN  February 5, 2017 3:00pm-3:53pm EST

3:00 pm
warrior. you have been watching "in depth" on book of there on c-span2. ...
3:01 pm
>> good morning. good morning. i am really honored when this festival started coming together, we were missing to me the moral compass. so i am really honored today that your speaker is our moral compass. and please, all of you, i urge
3:02 pm
you to go to prager university. he is here and i wanted to have these speaker therapy today. please welcome dennis prager. >> thank you. [applause] incorporated you jamie. congratulations on what a great event that you put on. give him a hand because this is really exceptional.[applause] it was adorable actually. my wife and i came here from the hotel. and the only other person in the shuffle was another participant as you are. so i said to her, what talk will you be attending? because this is not the only one. he said i am debating between dennis prager and the guy on islam. [laughter] i told her to go
3:03 pm
to the guy on islam. [laughter] and she is there right now. she has no idea. [laughter] it was a present moment. see, you are thinking that was sweet of them to do that. on the other hand because they got us a copy, he knew he would get a big crowd anyway. you say, there are two interpretations to everything that happens. but i told her look, if you want your life, this i did at the very end ãif you want your life changed go to the dennis prager talk.and this is a serious idea that i want to begin with.i would like, and i'm only saying this in the lectures i give unhappiness and goodness. i do want to change your life. and for a speaker to say that
3:04 pm
at the outset takes some audacity. because what if i don't? then i would have felt and i will feel like i failed. and i will talk about this for so many decades. i do it on a national radio show every friday for an hour. and so many people have said that this touched their lives, not touched but changed their lives. that i want you to consider this in that regard. that is how seriously i take it. i want to tell you that since we have the time here, because it will not be time for question and answers because of c-span and terrific booktv which i want to endorse. i watch it and i love it. nobody told me to say that but i did want to add it.i want to tell you how this began. somebody told me when i began lecturing in my 20s, you will be talking more about happiness than any other subject. i would have thought they were crazy.
3:05 pm
but this is how life happens. so i was invited, this is about 30 years ago. i was invited by a rabbi at ucla. to come to. >> guest: students. so i said, would you like me to speak on judaism? i had written a book on judaism. he said no, no one will show up. [laughter] this was a rabbi, i just want to make that clear. so i said what would you like me to talk about? he said something happy, something fun like happiness. and i said but rabbi, happiness is not a life subject. happiness is a serious problem. and he said, great title. [laughter] that is how my book.the title happiness is a serious problem.
3:06 pm
when the rabbi said great title to my objection to his looking at it as a light subject. it is an amazing thing. so listen to this, i gave my speech. for all of my life i have been making my speeches available to the public. if i like the speech. let me put it that way. i would record it, remember cassettes?some of you are old enough to remember cassettes. we sent it to people who subscribed to my speeches. and i decided look, i am never going to give another talk unhappiness. a better record this one. i'm not sure i will like it but maybe if i do i will send it out. because remember, i speak about very serious subjects. but if it is god and suffering and why is there evil in the world and politics, all of these quote ãserious subjects. anyway i gave my speech and i liked it so much i did something then, i've never done before. and i have never done it since. i listened to the speech when i got home. you don't like hearing you, i don't like hearing me.
3:07 pm
it is a built in human condition. during the speech i kept going, good points. [laughter] that is a good point. [laughter] i was not listening to me, i was listening to the speaker. that was a good sign. i forgot it was me talking as i really should adopt that in my life because it is a good point. okay so, we sent the letter out and that was the end of it. i was sure that would be the end of it on that topic. about six months later, i received a letter, i lived in la and i received a letter from new york city from the literary editor, the articles and are radical women's magazines. not that i had a subscription. so i did not know what, i thought maybe they were trying to subscribe or something. and it was, we would like you,
3:08 pm
please call me to write a piece on happiness forever. yes. paul said it was the week she said i want you to know you. and i'm so delighted. literary electors? did you subscribe to she said no, i didn't know who he was. i never heard my life. [laughter] but you were on new york radio one night in a second part of my apartment, it might listening until the end to find out who the speaker was. it turns out that a station in new york, against every sec rule, they could have been sued to bankruptcy. took my talk with no permission and played for an hour.can
3:09 pm
you imagine that? i just want you to know, these crooks changed my life. [laughter] i would not be here speaking unhappiness today if it were not for that station. who today great credit at least at the end said, this was a talk i los angeles-based dennis prager. they could have said and our own jerry schwartz, is he great or what? they could have done anything. so anyway, that is how she got wind of me and then she said is $3000 okay? now you are not laughing that is because you do not write articles for magazines. i have been writing for places like commentary. and you know what you get for writing for commentary? three copies of the magazine. [laughter] and it is not postage due, they send it, they do pay the postage.i have to
3:10 pm
say that. for commentary. $3000, you have to understand that was two months mortgage. which is how in los angeles you compute all money. [laughter] so i said, fine. like i was debating. the woman could have said $300, i mean, it is a big magazine. i write the article for redbook and then i get a call from random house. we would like you to write a book. and i remember saying book? i am lucky i had one article on this subject. i do not have a book in me. i will never write a book because someone was a publisher. so i said to them, i will tell you what, i will give a course unhappiness.happiness in los angeles. and if i like it and realize i have not to say for a book i will get back to you. so i gave a course, a 90 minute session ã890 minute sessions unhappiness. bristol was not convinced.
3:11 pm
then again 16 90 minute sessions unhappiness. then i contacted random house. i give them their money back which was very painful and eventually harpercollins published it and it is a book that has been out there and hopefully changing lives. a lot of therapists say they use it. i'm very rational on the subject i want to take my major theme. this is what i say, it should change your life. unless you have already adopted this in your life which many people have. here it is. i have a theory unhappiness. that is different from any person i have ever seen. i believe that happiness is a moral virtue. not an emotional state. that is the great difference. i don't really care how you feel. i care how you behave.
3:12 pm
[applause] that is why it is a moral issue. you do not care, let's be honest. on some abstract level you care but in reality you sit next to a person on an airplane for a five hour flight across the country. he don't really care if they have family troubles, financial troubles, health problems, you care that they asked nicely to the extent that you have any interaction. that's it. your therapist may care how you feel. one or two people in your life may care how you feel. but the other 7 billion people, only care how you act. and that is why it was a moral issue. i can put in stalker terms.
3:13 pm
inflicting your bad mood on others is entirely analogous to inflicting your bad breath on others. [laughter] you brush your teeth, you should brush her mood. why do we shower every day? it is absolutely unnecessary health to shower every day. we shower every day for others. now i feel better when i shower i am so used to it. but the primary reason is to smell good for others. that is why, when i give this talk, especially the young people, their biggest objection is but that is not natural. you're not being authentic. i said you are right, body odor is authentic. you are entirely right.who told you to be authentic? [laughter] fluctuating is authentic. why do you curb it? why do you stop it?this
3:14 pm
notion of, you know, you don't know how large a subject this is. that is why i never said to anybody, be true to yourself. what does that mean? being true to myself is to be a slob. [laughter] being true to myself is not getting up to go to work. i would rather sleep and, that is true to myself. most of the day i am not true to myself. i am true to my values. but i'm not true to myself. that is why this subject is so awesomely important. you should be true to your values not to yourself. do you know when i am asked to. >> guest: young people, high schools i mean. when i am asked to.>> guest: high schools they asked me what would you like to speak on? so i will tell you this is an interesting thing. a very prestigious prep school in the los angeles area, where
3:15 pm
prep their kids for princeton and yale and berkeley and all of the others. and they, there were kids who listen to my show regularly. and they wanted me to come to speak because i am not on the liberal side. and they never hear conservative speakers. so they wanted me to speak. they went to great lengths to arrange this. i arrived that day, my wife is here and she was with me then and she can vouch for all of this. so i came in this wonderful young people were so excited to see me, so excited they called me mr. prager. but they are conservative. they use mr. they said what are you going to be talking on? and of course, they were hoping it would be on the case where
3:16 pm
conservatism or what is good about conservatism and conservative values. what do they mean? that's why they brought me after all. and i said i will be speaking unhappiness. their faces were ãbut i said i promise you, this will be by far more upsetting to the students than anything i could say about conservatism. [laughter] and i turned out right, the school told me it was the most talked about lecture they had ever received. it had more debates, more teachers, teachers got up to argue with me. i will tell you why, i will tell you why this is my first choice to give as a speech to young people. what i am saying to them they have almost never heard unless their parents told them this. and unfortunately most of them don't. that is, it doesn't matter how
3:17 pm
you feel, it only matters how you act. they have never heard that. everything in the last 50 years even in america, has been how do you feel about it? i don't care! no one cares how you feel about it. we care how you act about it. and they've never heard that. if they are in a bad mood, they feel that they are going to be authentic and all of those words and it came up, it was unbelievable. the teachers were told, i will never forget this, do not ask questions, let the students only, only the students challenge and ask questions of the speaker. the teachers got up and they were infuriated. they would not have been infuriated with a talk on conservatism. okay, let them go and buy, have a great day, thank you for coming. but this really got everybody. a guy called up my radio, he called up. a man got up and he was a
3:18 pm
teacher there. and he said, he was angry. he was actually angry. and i know that this angers people to tell them their feelings don't matter, it angers them. because we are in a narcissistic age. behavior, behavior, behavior, behavior ãthat is all that matters because we have been conditioned. so he got up and said, he was the music and art teacher. he said i'm sorry but if there were not unhappiness and do not have beethoven. well, you don't know beginner delight i had. i conduct orchestras.i really know classical music. i have to say. having ãhad he picked ballet i would be dead. just for the record. but he picked my strong suit. i know about this and i said no sir, with all due respect i can
3:19 pm
say the keys of all nine symphonies. he did not complete his 10. so immediately, the guy said maybe i will choose another arts. but anyway, it is not true. this is a myth. if they were not unhappy, beethoven wrote great music. just ready 1000 page biography about beethoven. he wrote great music when he was happy or unhappy. and he wrote unhappy music when he was unhappy. he was totally death certainly by the end of the second half of the symphony. probably nearly all of them. and certainly by the end and eight out of the nine companies are just cheerful. it is just a myth. if you had said to beethoven, if we give you a woman, he never had a relationship with a woman with she reciprocated as well. a very sad life. let's save a table, we will find you the woman of your dreams and she will love you.
3:20 pm
and he would say okay i am not writing anymore. no, the men compose because he had to compose. not because he was miserable. anyway, this is all nonsense. when i do my our unhappiness, this goes to the second theme of the talk. when i give my our unhappiness, i open up by saying, every week since 1999, i have done this national show on the subject of happiness. and one reason is, the good make the world better. excuse me, the happy make the world better. in the unhappy make it worse. there was a gigantic moral dimension to happiness. both macro and micro. what i just said was macro. prior to that i spoke ãand micro individual life, i will give you both.so i want you
3:21 pm
to understand, happiness is related to goodness. both on the macro level and on the micro. this is the macro. happy people tend not to for example, to use the evil of our times. it is not generally happiness that induces people to put bombs on their body and blow other people up. if you could interview that man or woman, and say hey, life is pretty good? isn't it great to be alive? is a great to be alive or what? [laughter] i just suspect, i am not interviewed a terrorist but i suspect they would say no, it's actually not that good. i am happy to check out and get to virgins up there. i never understood the woman terrorists. who do they get up there late. [laughter] i am not joking, nobody
3:22 pm
mentions their reward. anyway, anyone, look there have been three monumental evils in the last 100 years. and in order chronologically, communism, nazi-ism and islamic radicalism. violence. these have been the three. now, does anybody think, take an american example. if you think that you know, there are not many left that there are, a white supremacist, is the first thing you think of, this is a happy guy? this is one happy dude. he is just so happy with life. [laughter] i mean happy nazi, happy communist, it is an oxymoron. i'm so happy i'm going to work
3:23 pm
in ãhappiness is a moral issue. it is a huge moral issue.it is a huge issue on the macro. happy people do not cause trouble for other people. because they are happy, so why cause trouble? they give of themselves more. in every possible way, it is a moral virtue. that is what i began by saying. now on the micro, is particularly obvious. a micro level, the relationship between goodness and happiness, love, if you act happy you bring happiness to others. that is a moral virtue. and if you act unhappy you bring unhappiness to others. as anyone raised by an unhappy parents what that was like. and then you will understand that it is a moral issue
3:24 pm
happiness. it is not just an emotional issue. it is very hard to be raised by an unhappy parent. let alone two happy parents. which by the way, for the record, rarely happens. just a side note on this matter. the moody almost never marry another moody. every marriage, 90 percent of marriages i know, it is a moody and a non-moody marry. sometimes to non-moody's marry. [laughter] but for the great majority of marriages, is a moody and a non-moody marrying. so you might ask, why is that? how come a moody never marries a moody? and there is an answer. the moody may be miserable but they are not stupid. [laughter]
3:25 pm
they never marry one of their own. [laughter] now why is that? why don't moody's marry moody's? because they can't stand them, that's why. that's why it is a moral obligation to any spouse to act happy. you cannot be directed by your moods. just as i gave the example of washing your body and watching your teeth. you cannot inflict that bad mood on others. if you are sad, of course you tell the people closest to you in life that you are sad. of course. you should not be opaque. you should open up. but the way that you act is different. my god, i ãone woman called michelle and said i have two
3:26 pm
parents, one survived the holocaust. one grew up in brooklyn. the one who survived the holocaust was a happy parent. [laughter] that was one of the most powerful cause of my life. listeners have changed my life. have changed my life and i have changed theirs. that was a very powerful statement.logan is not auschwitz. i come from brooklyn. it is not auschwitz. it is brooklyn. [applause] >>. [laughter] let's get carried away, it is not a death camp. the relationship between people's lives and suffering in their happiness behavior is zero. there are people who have had terrible things happen. and walk around with a cheerful disposition. there are people who have had traumas in their life and they
3:27 pm
walk around ãthey have not had trauma north and walk around like they have had trauma. they're not related. it is a decision. lincoln had a very unhappy life. very unhappy with the loss of his boy. with the depressed wife and a country that was slaughtering one another. he had a very very hard life. lincoln is the one who said, we are as happy as we decide to be. that is what i want you to understand. it is a decision. that is what makes us different from animals. we have free will. we make these decisions. unhappy spouses kill marriages. it is spontaneous and offered nonetheless. maybe i will regret this.
3:28 pm
already ãwill i get one line to take out of context i will say this is a married person, i think it is better, it is more injurious to a marriage for one of the spouses to be in a constant or nearly constant bad mood. then this you have one night stand. that is how bad constant moods are. when i'm not advocating infidelity. if you're unfaithful then say laconia joint normal was in a good mood. [laughter] i want you to put that in the proper context what i am saying. for this is the experience with couples who call in. i also do an hour called the male-female hour. we have special hours on 9 news subjects. and that is what time of the kill marriages. you owe it to your spouse. so by the way, here comes the
3:29 pm
question, if the moody never married the moody, watching the non-moody marry the moody? by the way this is one of the questions that have perplexed me. i've finally come up with some tentative answers on why does the non-moody marry the moody? not in order of importance. possibility number one. the moody did not act moody while they dated. [laughter] that is called discussing. there is a word for that. yes. that is false advertising. and just wrong. how is that possible? all of a sudden you get married and they discover, what happened to miss cheerful? mr. cheerful, what happened to them? that is not right.
3:30 pm
so that is one reason. another reason that the non-moody the moody is that many happy people have a sort of messy complex. a mission in life like a messiah to save the unhappy. and you can you save better than the person you marry? but you can't. what's going to happen, they will bring you down. you will not bring them up. they can bring themselves up but you cannot bring them up. and it is a very hard lesson to learn. it is the only person that make you happier is you. there is no one else, nothing will happen that will make you happier. make a list of things you think that would make you happy and if they all arrive you'll be temporarily happy. if you are in bed health and say if only i were healthy i would be happy. but the odds are overwhelmingly enough. you know who is a very
3:31 pm
interesting model on this? charles krauthammer. he is paralyzed. and i was watching him being interviewed by himself. he dove into a pool when he was in harvard medical school studying to be a psychiatrist. and he broke his neck and he was paralyzed from the neck down. he said it's fascinating, half of the people there watching on t.v. do not know i am paralyzed. he drives around using his pinkies and whatever for however, and breath. breath and pinkies. he just, he was a normal and full life. and yet i have had people calling my show and tell me, because all we do is talk about subjects openly. oh if i were a quadriplegic i would want to commit suicide. i wouldn't. so long as my brain is functioning and i can communicate, it does not even
3:32 pm
occur to me that if i were quadriplegic i would commit suicide. i don't want to be quadriplegic, i want to make that case clear here. but i don't think that way. i want to embrace life, every moment that god gives me on this earth. and they want to bring cheer to others. i'm so adamant about this i have a game i play that i really enjoy. and that is can bring some joy to the person i'm sharing the elevator with. i am serious. that's how much i think about the subject in my own life. here i have 30 seconds along with a human being.we are both staring at the numbers like wow, look at that six shut up after five. [laughter] is that awesome or what? and so, i will try to think up something. it is that the game, how will it make them smile? and not with some stupid
3:33 pm
comment but a witty comment or just a challenge to have for myself. i want it said when i leave this world that whoever interacted with him left a little happier. what could be nicer than that? i am not facing me, and praising the idea. what would you rather have said about you? well yes, he or she was moody but nevertheless did a lot of wonderful things. it is a sin. now let me tell you, let me explain why this is so revolutionary. by saying that you can't act on your feelings, they have to act on your values, that this is all a moral issue, it affects your whole life on the whole issue of mood. think about how often we say i'm not in the mood. so, just for the record, and this is a gender topic but nevertheless, i tried to
3:34 pm
confront reality where it is. i write a syndicated column that comes out every tuesday. 90 percent are on current issues. 10 percent are on personal or permanent issues if you will. about 10 years ago i wrote a two-part piece titled when a wife is not in the mood. [laughter] i would like to tell you how i came up with this theory. i went to jewish orthodox schools called yeshivas to the age of 18. i have a pretty good ãthat's why i wrote two books on judaism. and in fourth grade, my life was permanently altered by my rabbi. after they were religious teachings the other half was secular. fourth grade, the rabbi announces okay boys, it is time
3:35 pm
for the afternoon prayers. i walked over to the rabbi, very respectfully. i want to and that. and i said rabbi, i am not in the mood. [laughter] for the afternoon prayers. [laughter] the rabbi came from east europe. he spoke english fluently but he was clear to me fourth grade he had never heard the word mood and prayer in the same sentence. [laughter] so he stroked his beard and he thought and he thought just like this was out of a movie. and i am waiting for the
3:36 pm
answer. dennis prager is not in the mood for the afternoon prayer. [laughter] so what? [laughter] he did, i not kidding, it altered my life. the guy basically said, not basically said, who gives a damn what your mood is? and that's why i wrote when a wife is not in the mood she should say to herself, she left her husband, so what? [laughter] i might add, only men applaud it at this particular moment. just for the record, i do not know c-span caught that but ãi do have to be fair. i mean it sincerely.
3:37 pm
so what? the more you can say so what to your mood the better life you will live. if you are controlled by your moods, you are not you. your hormones, your emotions. this is such a big deal. so yes, you smile when things are difficult. you do. with a cheerful disposition you can relate what has happened to you. that does not mean if you just lost a loved one you have to walk around laughing. i'm not talking about even laughter. i'm not talking about laughter. the producer of my show who we call the living martyr hasn't left in 27 years. [laughter] but he is never in a bad mood. he is thoroughly and easily ã please understand i'm not talking about ãno, no, please. i'm talking about not having a bad mood. this changes, that's why said
3:38 pm
it changes your life. that behavior matters more than anything.and here is the ultimate, that was all the moral case. here is the ultimate personal case. you end up feeling the way you behave. we think that feelings lead to behavior. we should do the opposite. behavior leads to feelings. act happy you will feel happy. i have gone through very difficult times in my life like 94 percent of you. i'm convinced six percent of people walk between the raindrops. i have not walked between the raindrops. i have had storms. fall right on top of me with no umbrella. but you know it is very interesting, i have been broadcasting for 33 years. and every day that i broadcast, which is five days a week, i can't get on reflecting the mood of what has happened in my life.
3:39 pm
nobody wants to hear a glum broadcast. you know folks the truth is, it's really been hard at home today and ? [laughter] do think i really want to be here? i mean folks, you know i need a paycheck so i am here. but. [laughter] i get on a nine cheerful dennis, lively dennis. people want a lively host, they have every right to. they have their own problems they do not need mine. that is the whole point. everybody does have their own problems, they do not need yours. and by the way, here is the amazing thing in the toughest times of my life. i have left every broadcast happier than when i walked in three hours earlier. the show, by forcing me to get up, get dressed to prepare and to be alive on the air change
3:40 pm
my mood. i thank god for the program because it forced me. you have to force yourself or life has to force you to not act the way you feel for the way your circumstances have dictated. then it affects you. by the way, this behaviorism is so huge. i am a total behaviorist. by the way, and twelve-step programs, aa programs which i am told about, i can't say i have had the fortune or a guest that's not going to put it, i am happy have never had an addiction. i know people who have. they say they are filled with wisdom. there is more wisdom and aa meeting then at yale. and i just believe that. there is more knowledge that you put more wisdom at a 12 step program meeting. and they have a motto, fake it till you make it. that's correct.
3:41 pm
that is exactly right. every alcohol they say is always an alcoholic. they're either an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic. so what they're doing is they're not acting on their nature. every single day there acting against what they want to deal. and that is the only way they can lead a happy life. they cannot lead a happy life drinking. it is all behavior. you name the area, behave it and you will feel it. a lot of people today in our secular world are not god centered religion centered. and there is a very simple answer to that. after religious, you will start feeling religious. people are waiting for god to appear in their lives while they are showering. cynthia just, i want you to know i do exist. and you should take me seriously. that is what people are waiting for.
3:42 pm
but even if they got that it would not help. they would think it was a practical joke that some friend played on them with a recording in the shower. so nothing would work. everything is a decision. i think that a religious life is a better life. i think it is a richer life. by every poll we take, religious people are happier. so had to get religious if you are not religious? you act it. that's how. active and see when your leader, give me a one year experiment. see when you're late if it has not offered something to your life. this is true about happiness, religious. i live in la. i've never had a desire to meet celebrities. i'm not saying it's good or bad i just desire just to be with friends.not celebrities. it does not interest me in the least. but there was a celebrity his life ãhe was an exceptional man. charlton heston. we would periodically have lunch or i would go to his home. i once asked him, ãdoes this
3:43 pm
affect you? and he said deeply. i realize one, people so me as moses. i had a moral obligation to try to fulfill this. and the other was just acting like moses. had an impact on me. then years, many years later, i read a new york times piece on the after ãwho acted the role in spielberg's movie schindler's list as the nazi commandant who would sleep with his mistress and then go to his balcony and shoot jews to death. and he said i could not wait until this movie was over. i'm becoming a worse person. that is powerful. the guy knows he is acting a
3:44 pm
role. he is reading a script. he is listening to a director's instructions. and he still is getting worse acting evil. that is how power, everything is behavior. everything. how you act is how you feel. how you ask is who you are. that is why this is, if i only have one chance with young people this is the message i give them. and it is the most difficult for them to hear because everything has been how do you feel? i don't care how you feel. how many adults have said that to kids in america in the last 50 years? almost 0, often zero. i care how you act. how bad does it get? when my older son was two, he is now 32. or did i get that wrong? this is a painful subject that i always get is a drunk.
3:45 pm
he is around 32. [laughter] anyway, he was to, he was in a park in la. his mom told this to me. i was not present just for the record. she does not exaggerate. and she, she saw a for a five-year-old boy walk over and through my son, our son onto the ground. just like that. it was amazing and his mother ran over to him. and she said, darling, what is troubling you? [laughter] now, i just want to say for the record that i do not know who this woman was. obviously i've never met her, did not know she was a but i do know one thing for certain, she attended graduate school. [laughter]
3:46 pm
you learn to say something that stupid. because that does not naturally come to a parent. in the history of the world when parents so their five-year-old throat a toddler or a baby onto the ground, they did not ask what is troubling them. you need to study, for an advancement come to such a conclusion. [laughter] was troubling that what is secondary. two getting punished severely for doing that. we could deal with what is troubling him later. what is going to trouble him now is his punishment. [laughter] it's like, he is great, he gives a course on vitamin ã
3:47 pm
does anybody remember his name here? anyway, i'm just terrible with names. but as a great child psychologist.and it's driving me crazy because i want to give him credit. but anyway he is a brilliant theory about the vitamin that kids most latin america. vitamin n. the word no. that is the vitamin, that is the vitamin that they most need. we are so preoccupied with their feeling good at all times. and we are not prepared to say so what. like my rabbi told me in fourth grade. these are life-changing issues. how do you act? is the moral issue of life. and it is the one that will most affect you in making you the person that you are. and you can, is a choice, if
3:48 pm
lincoln who had a harder life than most of you, i think. if lincoln could say we are as happy as we decide to be, i believe that that is the case for every one of us. it was a decision i made in high school. i will never forget, really, it is almost dramatic.i would go into manhattan from brooklyn almost every day of the week. i love the culture and everything. one day i was riding back at about 11 o'clock at night. i was pretty much alone in the subway car. had my arms up knitting in a just leaning back. i was in a grumpy mood. and in a very interesting thing, my brain or my mind said to my brain, you know, it is very easy to be miserable. and my father who was a tough
3:49 pm
dad, and therefore i credit him for a lot of my successful developments i just might add. but he would often say, dennis, you're taking the easy way out. and i remember thinking that if i am unhappy, moody, grumpy, i am taking the easy way out. and his voice resonated in me. don't take the easy way out. and it was another way. at that moment, when i made that decision, i'm just not going to act on this. i do not want to be grumpy. i don't want to feel it, i don't want to act it. and it is just a beautiful thing. so that is how it all happened. thanks to a rabbi, ucla 30 years ago inviting me to. >> guest: kids. not a religion, they would not show up at unhappiness. but i now believe that if you
3:50 pm
take this message seriously, it affects every other aspect of your life. and it is the key message to give to our children and to ourselves. you can watch this by the way prager university.com. i do give a lot of personal ã if you want a five minute survey of this this is there. i want to tell you, it is a favor. and i will just end with a favor that a listener, to give you an idea of the wisdom that my listeners offer. one happiness hour, raised the subject. i raise very real subjects. i also want to say when i leave he was real. i like real.so i raise the subject, is it true that you cannot be happier then your least happy child? that is what people say.
3:51 pm
you're only as happy as your least happy child. i don't like that saying. i don't want happiness, people's happiness determined by others. children. so we talked about it on the air. and that is a decision you make two. am i going to allow my least happy child to bring my life down? why would i allow that? think about rationally. a woman called up, she changed a lot of lives with this call. and i will leave this gift to you you happen to have a least happy child. she said dennis, i have a 30-year-old daughter, 32-year-old or whatever it was. and she said, she is just miserable. and do you know what dennis? one day i decided to follow. i did not break or. i can't fix her.
3:52 pm
[applause] and i want you to understand the wisdom that is out there on these matters. there is only one person on earth who can determine how happy you are. that is you. thank you so much. [applause] thank you very much. thank you, thank you. thank you. [applause] i will be signing books. thank you all very very much. thank you. [inaudible conversations]

109 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on