It takes a lot of wisdom to be happy and more yet to stay happy. No one has to tell us that wisdom comes with experience, meaning through the muck and mess of life. Actor Jim Carrey might of had this in mind when he said: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” Exactly! How we all wished for that experience, if only we could have more fame, more spending power, you know, to find out if it brings us happiness or not. Ha! If I was given a buckfor every time I’ve heard someone say, “Money can’t buy you happiness,” I’d probably be unhappily rich by now! Happiness is easily the hardest human lesson and some never learn it.
I dined with a homeless man today. He told me a great story that reminded me of one great secret to happiness. The story went like this: While he was walking the streets of Paris he found a twenty euro bill lying on the ground. He picked it up and thanked his lucky stars. Not long after he came upon a woman who was crying in the street. Being a compassionate sort, he asked her what was wrong. It turned out she was thrown out of her living arrangement by her partner and had nowhere to go. He looked at her and gave her the twenty euro bill. “That,” he said, “gave him a great deal of happiness”. My first reaction was why would he do such a thing, he needed the money as much as she! So I dared to ask him how he came to feel so sorry for the lady? “I’ve been where she’s been!” That’s how we answered my query, without any hesitation. Yes, I tried to agree. So I let his sentence echo in my mind. “I’ve been low, so low too and I know how it feels.” That’s wisdom learned the hard way from experience and it’s an incredible secret to happiness.
Listen once more to an ancient truth written 2,000 years ago and still pertinent for the rest of 2018… “There is more joy in giving than in receiving.”