But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~Matthew 6:33
In the early twentieth century, many wolves were hunted and killed to protect the red deer in Yellowstone Park. Besides the protection of the deers, the primary purpose was to make a profit out of the fur business. By 1926, wild gray wolves almost disappeared from Yellowstone Park. Unexpectedly, the number of red deers surged, without their natural enemies. They ate up the saplings wherever they went, turning many forests into a wasteland and destroying their original ecology and landform. In 1995, 14 wolves were released to the park. The wolves began to prey on the red deer, which once again changed Yellowstone’s ecosystem. The red deer began to avoid the wolves and migrate to safer valleys and deeper woods. In six years, trees grew back in the wastelands abandoned by those red deer; the forest land increased five times and attracted more birds and animals, including those endangered ones. The wolves brought a chain reaction that exceeded expectations. It even slowed down the water flow, revived the wetland, and significantly reduced soil erosion. The water was cleaner, the beavers are back, the fishes reappeared in the river, and in return, they as a whole provided more food and habitat. Yellowstone Park had become a breeding ecosystem for wild animals, the 14 wolves changed everything. After more than a hundred years and incalculable costs, everything went back to where it had been.
Everyone has a happiness goal to pursue in life, and we believe it’s beneficial when it’s achieved. For example, extraordinary income brings wealth and high material enjoyment, and career success proves self-realization and an enviable reputation. How we pursue success has changed our pure heart, and even our values and how we perceive the world. We ignore what we have lost and changed in the process. We think we are moving towards happiness, but we don’t know that success and joy of heart may go in different directions. We may pass by joy in our successful career and achievements, or we may pursue intangible spiritual satisfaction after achieving material success. However, when hearts are only filled with the pursuit of self-interest, we neglect some of the people around us. Those we connect with are abandoned, and a price tag measures the hearts that used to treat each other with love. We let our people down, but we don’t notice it; We hurt their feelings, but we don’t care. We think we are creating wealth, but what we don’t know is that we are losing more human value under the immediate interests. If we want to use the world’s laws to build only worldly achievements, we will only see more destruction.
We understood that wolves would hunt and kill animals, but little did we know that wolves would create favourable living conditions for other creatures. The ecological setback in Yellowstone Park was not restored by artificial construction under scientific experiments or research but by letting go and returning to the original natural laws of the Creator. We thought we were protecting, but in fact, we were endangering. We thought we were constructing, but in reality, we were destroying.
The superficial goals we pursue not only fails to meet the original expectations, but also brings many unimaginable damages. In order to create wealth, people have established an economic system. The stock market has made millions of millionaires, but it has also created more bankruptcy and broken hearts. The city has brought better material conveniences, but it has also produced a much higher homeless population. People have opened more glorious business, but many families have been shattered and left behind. We thought we were building, but that’s because we overlooked the damage.
If you want to pursue true happiness, first find the law, and then set goals accordingly. It’s not that pursuing wealth and materiality is useless, but knowing the order of prioritization is more important. We should never take people in our life for granted. Happiness is not always far away, and nor should you have to pay a high price for it. A piece of grass and a bit of rain drop both have its beauty and value. Happiness or satisfaction, you must look to be able to see it. We spend years to pursue our goals, and in the end, you realize what you are after has always been yours. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”