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Defining happiness: Keep it simple

Written By | Jan 16, 2014

MISSOURI, January 16, 2014 —What is happiness? According to Webster, it is “Having or demonstrating pleasure or satisfaction.”

Some people may say happiness is far too complex and elusive a concept to define. Perhaps if they keep it simple and listen to their hearts, they will find the answer.

Defining happiness is not an exact science, but something that comes from the heart.

We find that different things make us happy at different points of our lives. Young children are jubilant when the go to the movies and eat popcorn and over-sized theater candy.

High Schoolers may not jump for joy at the idea of going to the movies, but they are thrilled with making the sports team or the band, having a young lady wear their letter sweater, or getting a first car. Happiness may come from acing a final or getting into college.

There is joy when you land that first job, and happiness when you get a promotion – especially one that comes with a pay increase.

Things change, you move forward, and find that getting married to your true love is true happiness. You watch your children born and experience pure, shear joy. There is pride, and yes happiness, in watching those children grow and mature and become good people and good citizens. We smile when they have their own weddings and their own families. Then we experience another type of happiness, having grand children or even great grand children.

A pet is happiness for a lot of people.

Maybe one of the best ways to achieve happiness is by giving and loving others, which in return, they receive a great reward called happiness.

Simple happiness comes from the spring’s arrival. You wake up and see the sun coming into the window, and you walk out onto the porch and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Now every day you start looking at the trees to watch for the buds to become energized, and it brings sheer happiness to see a rebirth of nature. Again, they feel it is another year of enjoying God’s gift to all of us in the simplest of forms called nature.

“The thing that goes the farthest

Towards making life worthwhile,

That costs the least, and does the most,

It is just a pleasant smile.”

–Wilbur D. Nesbit

It is said that it takes 26 muscles to smile, and 62 muscles to frown. Smiling is contagious. Have you ever noticed when you are out shopping or taking a walk, if you give a smile you as a rule get one in return? Maybe you have experienced where there is a person who lives somewhere in your neighborhood who walks their dog, and as you are driving by the wave at each other even though they do not know each other or have ever spoken, but they still acknowledge one another by waving and in turn brings a smile to their respective faces. One might say this is a form of happiness.

“A good disposition is a virtue in itself, and it is lasting; the burden of the years cannot depress it, and love that is founded on it endures to the end.”—OVID (circa AD 8).

So be Happy.

However, that’s a time and place I am from-

Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles spent a fifty-four-year career in technology, retiring at the director level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a freelance columnist, he has published three books, made over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, and been involved in numerous radio interviews and one television commercial. He has been married for sixty-five years, and has four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great-grand children. Charles is also a Navy veteran.