Wednesday, March 26, 2008


A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but
rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

Hugh Downs

Why are all those who tell us the secret to happiness are wildly successful? It's never Bernie, the schmoe who works in customer service and gets yelled at all day? It's always some famous person who has led, more or less, a charmed life. I know money doesn't make one happy, but the lack of it sure can make one miserable.

I wonder what is the source of happiness? Where does contentment come from? Is it from having just enough, or the ability to do what one wishes?

My contention is that real contentment in life comes from the ability to make a difference; to feel useful. Whether one wishes to make life better for one's family or to change the world, usefullness is the key to happiness. Anyone can make money, a lot of it, but the richest men who ever walked the planet became philanthropic in their old age. Rockefeller, Carnegie-- the lot of them, they all became very charitable men in their old age.

In Carnegie's own words "The man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away "unwept, unhonored and unsung".... Of such of these the public verdict will then be: "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced."

Some food for thought.