"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happiness is Decided Ahead of Time

"Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be."
--Abraham Lincoln

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. 

“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.” 

“That doesn't have anything to do with it,” he replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.”

“Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged...it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it, so I do.”


  1. where did you get the story? you are usually awesome with your citations...I love it so much.

  2. It was just an e-mail forward - no author to cite - or I would have cited. ;)

  3. Here's one with a citation for ya:

    "Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit with which you meet the problems of life." --Harold B. Lee

    It was part of the FHE Curt gave this evening. Weird that he chose this very topic when he hadn't even read my blog yet today. Wait...I think I hear angels singing the Twilight Zone theme! ;)