Are You Choosing or Chasing Happiness
This morning I woke up 4 hours later than I normally do. It was obvious to me that my mind and body needed more rest, so they lulled me off into a coma-like state and gave me a gentle nudge at 7 instead of 3.
Normally when I get up, I read and meditate and then around 6:00, I make my bed say a prayer and then get to writing. I do not pass go, nor do I collect the 200 bucks, I get right to it.
This morning however, even though I had overslept by 4 hours, I stopped long enough to take a quick glance at my email. When I did I found the following note, meant to be a comment for the blog post from yesterday:
On Thursday evening, after hearing you speak at the NG Women's Conference, I headed to the airport to get a rental car and then drive to Virginia to visit friends. I was exhausted and the wait at the rental car counter seemed endless. As I spoke to the gentleman next to me and complained about the wait, I glanced toward the rear of the line and saw a man with no arms and only a small deformed hand off his left shoulder. I watched as he took off his shoes and one of his socks and with his foot removed his wallet from the canvas satchel he had on a small cart that he pushed with his feet. With his right foot, he opened the wallet, removed various cards and then knelt on the ground to lift them to his deformed hand and dropped them in his left breast pocket. At that moment I realized how fortunate I am. I have arms and what took that man 5 minutes to do, I did in seconds. Your lecture sprang to my mind, that I could choose to be happy. I plan to keep a daily reminder of that man. Thank you. Without your lecture, I'm not sure that man's struggle would have had such a profound effect on my life.
I read this and was moved to tears. I had spoken to a group of women in leadership at Northrup Grumman, they were all brilliant and all beautiful. I spoke about choosing to be happy, as happy people really do get things done.
In her note Carrie illustrated the lesson of time; that life is long, we make it quick with our anger and frustration. Carrie also illustrated something that I did not teach; that happiness enables us to truly see.
You can either chase happiness in the form of image, money and status or you can be happy with self- improvement, loving relationships and a sense of community and community involvement---and keep in mind the greater the definition of community; the greater the happiness (no I don’t have research to back that last thing up, I just know that it’s true.)
We don’t have to see someone with less to be more, but the moment opened Carrie to see what she would not have seen before. We get caught up in what is not happening and fail to see what is truly happening.
Life gives us the opportunity to choose and it loves us so much that when we get things wrong, we get to choose again.
I am grateful Carrie and to all of you who choose to read, grow and become. We are making our world a better place.
Be you, be well, be happy.
Bertice Berry, PhD.