To the editor,

What is happiness? The Century Dictionary defines it as, “Any state of being, having considerable permanence, in which pleasure decidedly predominates over pain.” I believe that the phrase “having considerable permanence” is an important key to understanding true happiness. Happiness ought to be a sense of deep abiding within our spirit which wells up into our soul (our mind, will and emotions) and gushes forth from our body in joy and peace.

It ought not to be a temporal “feel good” moment that waxes and wanes based on how often and hard we work on it with positive psychological thoughts. There has never been a positive mental attitude program that has brought about the kind of permanent healing needed for pleasure to decidedly predominate over pain. So why do we continue to seek an over-the-counter one-size-fits-all remedy for such internal spiritual pain? Where should we turn for true healing?

The Orange Frog Initiative (see my letter to the editor in the July 29 edition) is definitely not the answer! It is the type of program that may provide some short-term relief to a few who are dealing with some specific challenges in their life. But there are so many specific areas of mental health issues that need very customized approaches and support. Many such programs are already in place and have good track records of long-term success. Programs such as Hiding, Hurting, Healing (working with women victims of sexual abuse), County Sheriff program, Family Pathways, River City Recovery, and Meals on Wheels are doing amazing things to meet people right where they are at and guide them toward permanent health and happiness. But many of these programs struggle due to lack of financial support. 

So why do our Isanti County Commissioners want to throw away $2.5 to $4.5 million to apply a temporary band-aid to a variety of wounds ranging from paper cuts to massive injuries that require intense repair and reconstruction? Frankly, I don’t know. If they truly care about the mental health issues as they say they do, then they should stop looking to a ridiculous marketing propaganda umbrella and come back down to earth and touch people where they really need it.

Hello…Earth to Commissioners!? Get real!!!! 

Gary Lantz


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