Friday, January 31, 2014

Happiness for Young and Old



Dear Young'un,

You will have times of great happiness and great sorrow in your lives, and everything in-between.  I hope and pray there is way more happiness than anything else.  Reversals in our lives help us to appreciate successes.  Sadness makes us value happiness all the more.

I've been both in my life.  And let me tell you something, "Happiness is a WHOLE lot more fun!"  Would it surprise you to learn that some of that is in your control?  If an acquaintance of yours makes you feel bad, you can choose to hang out with other people.  There are people out there willing and able to inspire you to reach beyond your circumstances and bring about wonderful things in your life.

It also helps to appreciate the good that we already have.  Some days that is easier, some days harder.  Maybe on a given day you can't find anything.  Having a roof over your head is a whole lot nicer than not.  Most likely one or more family members loves you and wants the best for you.  That is a HUGE plus.  A teacher that takes extra time to help you understand a problem at school.  Wonderful.

But what about the days where nothing goes right?  Maybe your mom or dad lost their job and is really stressed out.  Maybe you did poorly on a test at school and you don't want to tell your parent(s).  Well, maybe that's the day that the little puppy in the pet store window on your walk home comes up to the window and wags his tail furiously in greeting like he is really happy to see you.  Maybe a beautiful little flower pushes up out of nowhere in between sidewalk blocks in the concrete jungle.

You can't stop all of the rain in life.  But you can know there is sunshine.  You can help spread it to other people.  Then you can be your own and someone else's happiness.  What a wonderful gift.

-a tired, old (happy) coot

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