This week I was reminded of an old peanuts cartoon in which Lucy asks Charlie Brown: “Why do you think we were put on earth?”
Charlie answers: “To make people happy!”
Lucy replies : “I don’t think I’m making anyone happy… nobody’s making me happy either… somebody’s not doing their job!”
Over the last few days I have talked to a number of people who were just not happy. They complained about the cold, the weather, the job, their family situation or their work problems and I suspect, wanted me to somehow “make them happy!” The fact is there are many who, though they may not say it, think that happiness is a right, something they deserve and when they don’t ‘get it’ feel cheated or at least short-changed! These people seem to be so preoccupied with what they don’t have and what they don’t like that they don’t even begin to enjoy what they do have.
If that is you, what are you going to do about it? The fact is, it is rarely about ‘things‘ it is more likely to be about ‘attitudes‘. If you want to feel happier, you need to take your focus off yourself and think about how you can help somebody else feel ‘better‘. Look for some practical way to brighten the day of somebody close to you. Give a word of encouragement to your boss. Purchase a small gift for your partner. Smile at your co-worker. Do the unexpected, lighten up, relax and before you know it, you will feel happier!
Somewhere in all that we need to pause and reflect on all that we have to be thankful for: a job, food, clothing, house, stable government and a whole host of other things. When was the last time you stopped to thank God for all that?
Chaplain Ian Whitley