Saturday, December 22, 2012

Share Something Very Special This Year

This message is for widest dissemination, for I have reached into my favorite book to share a poem. The book of which I speak actually has been near our bed stand for years. Some of you will recall that I have shared poems in the past from A.L. Alexander's collection, entitled "Poems That Touch the Heart." It was first printed in 1941, and there were twenty-five reprintings after that. Well - I have been moved to present another lovely poem at this seasonal opportunity.

Happy Talk can lead to Extended Joy

Elisheva and I were visited two weeks ago by a couple from Washington, D.C. We have been asked to perform their wedding in Luray this summer. During this intimate first time meeting, the couple mentioned that they would immediately depart from the wedding site for the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - said to be one of the happiest places on earth.

The couple was surprised when we related that one of the most enjoyable reads this year was finding Lisa Napoli's book entitled "Radio Shangri-La." In this intimate little book of her travels, she relates that Bhutan measures its success in Gross National Happiness rather than in GNP. So - we knew something about this place of adventure, where happiness is promoted so integrally into the culture. What was originally to be only thirty minutes over coffee with this soon to be married couple turned into a very delightful, and may I say, happy conversation for ninety minutes. People can lose themselves in happiness.
Being Deliberate in the Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is a topic for which we both are drawn, and books which explore happiness seldom escape our review. That can run the gamet from books of poems to in depth explorations by social scientists, such as Jonathan Haidt. We have read his excellent book, "The Happiness Hypothesis (Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)" several times, and often use it for reference. He is a social psychologist who describes his corner of exploration and teaching as morality and the moral emotions.

Now you know of at least two books which are worthy of your time. The Alexander collection of poems is generally difficult to find, except outside of a library with an extensive diversity; therefore, it is our duty to introduce for your sharing habits one poem at a time over the years.

Thinking Happiness, a poem by Robert E. Farley, is our gift for sharing this Holiday Season

Think of the things that make you happy,
     Not the things that make you sad;
Think of the fine and true in mankind,
     Not its sordid side and bad;
Think of the blessings that surround you,
     Not the ones that are denied;
Think of the virtues of your friendships,
     Not the weak and faulty side:

Think of the gains you've made in business,
     Not the losses you've incurred;
Think of the good of you that's spoken,
     Not some cruel, hostile word;
Think of the days of health and pleasure,
     Not the days of woe and pain;
Think of the days alive with sunshine,
     Not the dismal days of rain;

Think of the hopes that lie before you,
     Not the waste that lies behind;
Think of the treasures you have gathered,
     Not the ones you've failed to find;
Think of the service you may render,
     Not of serving self alone;
Think of the happiness of others,
     And in this you'll find your own!

From our family to yours ... Much happiness
T. Wade and Elisheva Clegg