Being Happy in an Unhappy World Talk
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Anyone who's spent time around Hank Smith knows he's a happy person. Have you ever wondered why he's smiling all the time? Is it because his twins are finally sleeping through the night? Could it be because he's finally done with his PhD program? Maybe he's just thinking about ice cream! In his newest talk, Being Happy in an Unhappy World, Hank shares what he's learned from studying happiness. He expounds on what science has to say on the subject, what teenagers think happiness is, and what prophets and other Church leaders teach. He then highlights four key principles of happiness from the Book of Mormon that can help us be happy too:1) accentuate the positive, 2) learn to work,3) keep the commandments, and 4) drop the contention. Of course, Hank uses laughter to teach about happiness. He says, I think when people laugh, they learn more. He'll keep you smiling and positive with his inspiring stories, personal examples, and testimony that teach you that even in a world filled with frowns, you can be happy too.
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I thought it was just to help kids get some tools they could use to help them be happier. It did do this, but the inclusion of the Mormon teaching would turn off a number of people that I was hoping I could use this as a tool for.
Many studies find that having a religious background, or faith helps in making sense of the world for many people; and in making people happier...so it wasn't that there was a "spiritual" message in the talk. It was that there was a "denominational" heaviness to the talk at times.
And just like money, which comes in denominations, the focus is often on WHAT denomination IS what I have been given; instead of the message. It makes you lose focus of the message and go off track to think what is this, who are these people, these stories...do I know this, do I believe this, why is this being added?
It had some value. He is mildly funny, but not very funny...funny enough to hold your attention for a while. I have listened to it twice now.. I was able to hear more of value the second time around. The first time I was a little shocked. Perhaps I should have know...but though I read a lot of reviews first, I didn't pick up on these tapes being heavily Mormon.
I wanted to use it on some kids, but I think their parents would object. So many people now do. They say they are OK with +spiritual,+ but not with +religious." I get that some examples are well portrayed by historical religious figures that many people know...but it's sort of like talking about President Kennedy to make a point versus the chief of the Cherokee people some 20 years ago. Part of the reason for using that particular example is because of the "familiarity", your audience is already half of the way where you want them to go when you mention the story they are familiar with.
I try to read up on other religions, because you can never tell where you will find something that helps you...but I just got lost as Mr. Smith read Mormon scripture. It didn't seem to flow well to me. It seemed sort of injected for the purpose of injecting it. Fine IF these tapes are mainly for Mormons, but if they are mainly for kids that need help being happier...injecting "religion: of any kind into it may turn them or their caregivers off and lose the opportunity.