September 19, 1997

Be Happy

I can just here the song now. “Don’t worry..... Be happy.” Oh, how I hated that song! It made a star out of Bobby McFerrin, put I would not pay a plug nickel to see him. I would be afraid that he would sing that stupid song.

He had it all wrong. My song went, “Don’t be happy..... Just worry.” He could sing his little ditty all that he wanted because he did not have to live my life. He did not have all of the problems that I had.

A few years have passed since the time of that big hit, probably more years than I want to think about. But I am back to this “Be happy” thing. It sounds so simplistic. I like more complex. You can get lost in complexities. They take up a lot of time, and if you spend enough time maybe you will not have to face whatever problem it is that you do not want to face. I did not want to face this “Be happy” thing because I did not know how to be happy. Why would I want to embrace some thing which I did not know how to do? No card carrying perfectionist would do this.

Times change. I get older. I learn. I want to be happy. That admission is a big step for me. I am committed to being happy - an even bigger step. Happiness is not some Pollyanna view of the world. It is the experience of joy in every day living. I want the joy. I want passion. I want rapture. Those are great words! Those are great feelings!

And I want to sustain happiness over lengths of time. Of course life brings ups and downs, but a sustained level of happiness is possible. I have met people who do it.

How do you do it? Ah, that is a bigger question. I wish that I could give you a simple answer, but I do not know one. Maybe one exists, but I do not know it. I do know that there are things that I can do in my life which lead to this state. But the answers will be different for each person.

I am working on this happiness thing. I have learned that the first thing which you must do is make a commitment to it. Make a decision that you are going to do whatever it takes to have happiness in your life and then start to do the things, to be the person, which creates happiness for you.

But for now, “Don’t worry..... Be...” No! Do not sing that silly song! Find a different anthem! But be happy searching for yours.

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