Wednesday, May 24, 2006

If you want happiness for an hour... take a nap. If you want happiness for a day... go fishing. If you want happiness for a month... get married. If you want happiness for a year... inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime... help others.
Chinese proverb

The happiness of an hour is not the same sort as lifetime happiness. Nobody is happy all the time, no matter who they are. Some of us are mostly always happy no matter the circumstances. Some are happy from time-to-time if they have reason to be. Some are never happy no matter how good their fortune. Happiness is different for each of us and the lack of it is on our shoulders too.

I try to find reason to be happy, even if I have to search for it. I always discover something to be joyful about. Reasons to be unhappy are often so bright that they make it hard to see beyond them, but I learned long ago that focusing there only shuts out any opportunity to feel bliss. Nothing makes me happier than reaching in my pocket, grabbing an extra smile, dusting it off, and handing it to someone who does not have one of their own.

We have such power to improve the outlook of everyone we touch, and when you lift someone else up you rise too. See someone frowning, give them a smile. See someone struggling, give them a hand. Notice someone too near the edge, guide them to a safer spot. Come upon the unaware, toss them a hint of what it is to soar no matter where you are. Let the chances you have to make the world a gentler place be the locations where you seek your own happiness and you will never be disappointed.