Bells are ringing the joys of the holiday season. Lights, garlands, giant stars and glittery trees are popping up almost everywhere. Even grumpy old men can be seen daring a sparkle in their eyes and a smile on their lips. Everyone, or nearly everyone it seems, is taking the opportunity to wash themselves in the cleansing power of happiness.
You see, every human really only wants to be happy. Happiness is a force that drives all that we do. And even though holidays, births and declarations of love are excellent reasons to smile and feel happy, we should not wait for a special occasion. Put a smile on your face and laughter in your voice every possible moment. Stay open and ready, for life holds many beautiful surprises. Happy holidays, yes, but more importantly happy All Days.
Yet it is also at times like these that often our minds turn to those less fortunate than us, when we remember the homeless, the lonely, the imprisoned, war-ravaged souls, hungry children and parents unable to provide. It is all too obvious that we share a world that can be cruel and unforgiving. But you CAN make a difference. You can be that person who leaves a better world behind. Find that place of deep happiness in yourself and give it to others. It is not necessary to try to repair the whole world, but just one person at a time is enough, one by one by one. We can spread the word. Live, love and laugh. Happiness is infectious, laughter is like a virus that releases anger, fear and stress, it binds us together and reduces conflict between us. Have you ever been in a room with several people, and one someone starts to laugh, a big raucous laugh. Little by little the others look and slowly you see a smile cross their face and then laughter, often without knowing why, but simply because it makes us feel good.
So take a chance, be happy, laugh a lot and spread joy. It’s free and easy to do and others will love you for it.
And here is a special treat for the holidays, the pianist Shirley Horn’s beautiful joyful voice in winter wonderland. Enjoy it and smile.