Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I was ten years old on Balboa Drive, chasing my sisters down the street because they dared me to.  We were not supposed to leave the court without permission, but Shari and Colleen were feeling naughty and wanted to run from me, screaming.  I took off after them as they did, even though it was nearly dark and I was barefoot.  The wind whipped my hair back and I was laughing and running at the same time. 

I remember this moment because it is a measure of happiness that I remember as one of the happiest in my life.  It is a true blessing to have this as a memory.  It makes me happy just by writing about it.

Happiness is something that humans pursue more than wealth – which is saying something.  It is a more than a feeling, it is a state of mind.

According to Aristotle, the purpose of every human being’s happiness is dependent on their  ability to achieve something which is good. His theory on happiness was that anyone could achieve it through knowledge and good actions – provided that our motivation is pure.

The Bible portrays happiness as a place of safety and peace, accompanied by contentment in knowledge of who you are in relation to who God is.  This happiness is fulfilled by Jesus, the Messiah who brings peace to the world.

In every belief, in most religions, happiness is championed.  It is usually seen as something to be shared, something to be attained and given freely.  Buddha even said, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” 

I have seen the richest people I know be miserable because of circumstances (mainly bitterness and unforgiveness).  We have sat in Sudanese villages where a woman has told us that there is nothing that makes her quite as happy as watching a sunset and smoking her pipe.  

The youngest people seem to figure it out the fastest: happiness is simple. A baby experiences laughter and it raises our spirits; a child realizes that playing outside is perfect with a box or a ball.  

Happiness is simple; it’s amazing how we have polluted it.

Today I will be happy.

I decide to be happy today because I will allow myself to feel the miracle of life around me.  I will seek to share this happiness with others, just because I want to be happier.  I will laugh too loud, be kind to strangers and say hello to someone I don’t know.  I will text my kids and tell them that they are miracles to me.  I will do something for someone else without them knowing.  I will write something beautiful, reach out to a friend and make gorgeous food for my husband. 

And I will be nice to myself.

Will you be happy today with me? 

I dare you.  

1 comment:

  1. Good Janet. I have seen the poor in Mexico and Kenya exhibit happiness. It is not about what you have or don't have. It is not always about your circumstances. Often happiness is a choice. And, some times it is a difficult one.