Happy Harmonies

Something about harmony makes us feel happy. If you feel anything at all in response to the coming together of the unexpected, it’s likely to be an enjoyable emotion.

In the coming days, we will have an extremely unusual phenomenon of time. During the late morning and night of Friday, Veteran’s Day, for one second the time and date will be all 11’s. That’s 11:11:11 AM or PM on 11/11/11. It’s the most compelling numerical moment since an afternoon in June 22 years ago, when the moment was 1:23:45, 6/7 ’89.

This harmony of numbers has no significance whatsoever other than its aesthetic coincidence. Nobody is predicting the world will end, computers will crash, or a person to change the world will be born at that moment. It’s just for fun. It’s a happy moment because the human emotional system is organized around the experience of coming together.

Feelings of love arise when we feel connected to other people, places or a spiritual ideal. Ordinary feelings of happiness reflect being in some kind of state of harmony. That’s why even something as insignificant as the moment of the 11’s elicits, if anything, a smile.

How would you feel if in talking to someone you learned that they have the same birthday as you? The lesson here is that you can increase happiness, even if only the short term variety, by looking for harmonies, things you have in common with others. Focus on the similarities rather than the differences.

If you ever can realize that most everyone is vastly more similar to you than different, imagine how much easier and more pleasant interpersonal relations would become?