The story is told of a little kitten chasing his tail around and around and around. A wise old Tom cat came strolling by one day and asked the kitten why he was so intent on chasing his tail. The kitten replied he had heard that happiness was found in his tail, so he was determined to catch his tail so he could be happy. The Tom cat assured the kitten that happiness was, indeeed, in his tail but he continued; ” I’ve learned that if I relax and enjoy every day and look for opportunities to help those around me, happiness follows me where ever I go.”
Dr. Victor Frankel, renowned phychiatrist and Auschwitz survivor said; “Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: ‘Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it your target, the more you are going to miss it’. For success, like happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as an unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run – in the long run, I say! – success (happiness) will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”
Dr. Franlel survived the loss of his mother, father, brother and his wife in the death camps. He recognized that those who died first were those who had nothing to live for. We all need something to live for….a great cause….or a beloved. He was stripped of all his earthly possessions, lived under the constant brutality of the Nazi SS guards, went hungry, endured the cold and the constant threat of extermination. Yet, he realized the one thing that could not be taken from him was his mind and his ability to control the inner life of his soul. He tinaciously clung to his wife’s image. He heard her voice, saw her smile, and enjoyed the comfort she held for him in her eyes. He asked her quesions and she answered him. He came to know the truth that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. In his naked reality he understood that man can through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved achieve fufillment and an inner happiness in spite of his surroundings.
Victor Frankel said that the last great freedon of man is the freedom to choose his attitude under any given set of circumstances. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Happiness is always available if only in your mind. And when you think about it, isn’t that where we live anyway?
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’; “If we do our best to enjoy every day and we look for opportunities to help those around us, happiness will follow where ever we go.”