BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS
A sign in a pet store read, "If anybody has seen the Bluebird of
Happiness, would you please notify this pet store?"
Happiness seems to be in short supply for many people. If the
results of recent surveys can be trusted, there is a general decline
of happiness in today's world. And people were not all that
cheerful a few years back! It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who stated,
"I might have been a minister for aught I know, if a certain
clergyman had not looked and talked like an undertaker." (I have to
say, though, that some clergy and undertakers I've known could teach
the rest of us something about joy.)
Joy and happiness are not always the same things. Happiness can be
thought of as more of a temporary, emotional condition, often based
on outside circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is deeper. It is
often contentment in spite of the unsettling present. We can be
basically joyful, regardless of a particular unhappy situation that
we may be enduring. It is sometimes just a matter of keeping
perspective on our troubles, and especially when those troubles
seem to be in long supply.
You may know the story of the man who had a marvelous way of keeping
joy in his life. He was a carpenter. He followed the same ritual
every day when he came home from the job. He stopped by a small tree
in his front yard and placed his hand on a couple of branches. Then,
when he walked into his home, it was as if a magical transformation
had occurred. All of a sudden, the stress was lifted from him. He
became energetic and joyful, able to fully interact with his
children and his wife.
He explained it this way: "That tree is my trouble tree. When I come
home I stop by the tree and, just like I leave my tools in the
truck, I leave my troubles outside of my home. I hang them on that
tree before greeting my family. Anything that does not have to come
in my house stays outside. Anything that I do not have to deal with
at home, I leave on that tree. And in the morning, I stop by the
tree and pick up the troubles I left there in the evening."
Then he adds, "It's a funny thing, though. Every morning I always
find fewer troubles remaining than I hung the night before."
Here is a man who has no doubt seen the Bluebird of Happiness.
Chances are, it is nesting in a tree just outside his home.
There is wisdom in knowing that some problems can wait until
tomorrow. And more wisdom in knowing what to hang on the tree and
what to bring in. Managing daily problems well is vital to
-- Steve Goodier
Posted by Priya Deelchand