Pursue v protect?

“In the West…people believe they must ‘pursue happiness’ as if it were some kind of flighty bird that is always out of reach.  In the East, we believe we are born with happiness and one of life’s important tasks, my mother told me, is to protect it”

Le Ly Hayslip from When Heaven and Earth Changed Places.

This weekend I wandered into a bookstore with my friend Mark and while we were at the counter the clerk said I had to read Hayslip’s book. I haven’t gotten very far, but the quote above stuck out to me.

I have moved to a new city and I’m searching for my place in it. I am nostalgic for the other times in my life when I’ve been welcomed into a group of dear friends and I miss wandering aimlessly without a plan. I miss shared understandings that I know unfortunately only come with time. I feel this restlessness to seek out what I hope would make me happy and I know that it’s been causing me a lot of stress. But protecting happiness versus seeking it out is a worthwhile perspective. I don’t know how to act on it, but I’ll try to discover what that means.

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