by Irwin Lengel

Have you ever wondered why some individuals spend their days with a frown on their face? Well I have and I guess if I were to be honest with myself, I would have to say at one time that was me.

When I was working I know that there were times I thought I should have gotten a bigger raise, been promoted to the cushy position versus the guy that was, shouldn’t have gotten that flat tire and I could go on and on.

Fact is, I spent most of my adult life feeling like that. That is until about thirteen years ago. Possibly a few years prior to that but most definitely since 2004. It was then that the light bulb went on and I realized that I am the master of my own destiny. Only we, as individuals, can choose to be happy or unhappy when we wake each morning.

There is a quote by Buddha that pretty much explains how much better it is to smile than frown and it reads as follow:

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

In reality, there is literally no cost to wearing a smile, especially in public. Think about it, how much does it cost us to smile at someone, nada, zilch, bupkis. What does it cost us to laugh when someone tells us a joke? Should someone near us suffer a loss or tragedy, it costs us nothing to share or express sympathy with that person. Should a neighbor or close friend require assistance in times of need, what’s to stop us from offering to help, nothing.

Taking this thought one step further though, think of the benefit doing any of these things might bring. True, when you get right down to it, you personally might not benefit from it but looking at it from the other person’s perspective, each of the things mentioned makes someone else’s life better. Saying a kind word might make them smile too. The person telling the joke may just be trying to fit in and laughing at their joke might just give them confidence to open up more in the future. Laughter takes the confusion out of some things thus enabling the person to feel less confused. And by offering assistance, such action makes the other person feel like someone cares about their problems and that they are not alone in this crazy mixed up world we live in today.

So, what does this mean – well, if there is no cost to us individually – why not make it happen. We should Smile more often; Listen to what others have to say; Share our condolences with others; Laugh more than frown; Provide help when possible; most of all, keep in mind that doing these things doesn’t cost us one red cent other than the time it takes to do them. Bottom line when all is said and done is that doing so might just make someone else’s life a little better and who knows, the ripple effect may just eventually work its way back to you and quite possibly on a day you might need it most.

Until next time!

Comments for Happiness

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by: Irwin/ Lakeland

Thank you for your kind words. Sorry it has taken me this long to respond.
Have a great day.

by: Joan from Massachusetts

Hi Irwin,

I always enjoy your writing and after reading it decided to tell you so!

I send lots of greeting cards to friends and family and always am so pleased to hear the cards made them smile. I recently had a health problem and my husband would go to the mailbox every day and say "you got another card"! Now I know for sure that taking 5 minutes to send a card to someone and add a quick note really does make someone's day.

I will continue with the cards or sometimes it's just a text message and I will keep your article in mind. It doesn't cost anything to be kind to someone else!

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