All who joy would win / Must share it / Happiness was born a twin. – Lord Byron
Happiness is a state of mind. There is no shop that sells happiness, or app that beams happiness into your head. Approaching life with open arms and a smile encourages happiness to appear more frequently. My wife and I taught children together in China for many years. One of the first thing kids would see in my little classroom was a quote from Dr. Seuss – Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. It is also advice I give to friends suffering loss or undergoing an unexpected changes in circumstances.
Before my oldest child was born, a friend asked me how I would adapt to be a parent. I had quite an adventurous life as a young man. My friends were almost as surprised as I was when I found out I was going to be a dad at twenty-four. I answered my friend simply, I want to be a loving father. That isn’t a great quotable sentence, but the sentiment has guided me ever since. My three children will be the sunshine in my heart forever. Their happiness means the world to me.
Today, we are apart geographically, but when I close my eyes, their laughter and smiles are fresh in my mind. A million laughs and a billion smiles flow together into one giant star that shines day and night. Happiness is a twin – that is so true. When I wander along these days, I feel blessed by each day I am granted. I will soon celebrate what would have been my mother’s Ninety-Ninth birthday. Although sadly she died at sixty-nine, I feel her spirit with me. Mom taught me countless lessons, but it was her life that inspired me most. When she was little girl she had polio and had to learn how to walk again. She suffered so much in her life, but her unbreakable spirit saw her through. My mom’s advice was sweet and heartfelt – Do what makes you happy honey.
Here’s to all of you, and to all those who make you happy. Smile today at the fact that we all have this day, and, if fortunate, the next. There will always be storms and winds of change blowing up ahead. Do what makes you happy. But stay true to yourself. Smile as you go. Be the author of your own happiness. Be well.