THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
One of the happiest persons I’ve met is my maternal grandmother. I lived with my grandmother—even though not continuously—so I knew she was a genuinely happy person. She woke up early, she helped in the kitchen, she would do anything to help. When she’s done, she would usually sit and begin singing Christian choruses. No instrument, just voice. And, she would sing for a long time.
I remember her telling me that in the church people usually turned their heads toward her during singing time because she said, many friends of hers who were already well-advanced in years, no longer had voices to sing. So, they were usually surprised when they heard her sing with a relatively strong voice. Of course, that’s not the reason why she sang—to show off; not at all. She sang because she wanted to praise God and she sang because she was truly happy.
In his book The Pain of Being Human, Eugene Kennedy, former professor of psychology at Loyola University, has something to say about happiness. He says, “We find happiness when we do not look directly for it but when we give ourselves over to our fellowmen with a willingness to face the pains and problems of life at the same time.” He explains, “Happiness arises a by-product of our getting absorbed in something worthwhile outside ourselves.” Amen!
You see, God created us humans in such a way that it would be impossible for us to experience happiness apart from others. That’s why God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Everything God created was good and complete except one—man. He couldn’t be happy if he had no one to share life with. Dr. Kennedy is right. It is in giving and in reaching out can we experience happiness, not in keeping, not in self-absorbing. My a-pho knew that long time ago.