Happiness Is Now Available In Cans
-Fred Stock  © 2007

            Itís the Christmas season! Well, at least it is for you. See, as I write this, it is the day after Halloween and the folks across the way still have the pumpkins on their ledge. I still have to go through the house and set all the clocks back one hour for Standard Time. The national election has not yet been held and we have not reached Thanksgiving, when we can all be thankful all those nasty election ads are gone!  Got to thinking about seasonal events and how we allow ourselves to be washed in most any direction with the tide of holiday ads and activities. Maybe our Canadian friends have the right idea holding Thanksgiving in mid-October, then snow-birding here to do it again in November! Then it occurred to me that all of that happy stuff is good!

          I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who stated, ďMost folks are about as happy as they choose to be.Ē Thatís a great philosophy! The times in my life when I was most unhappy were the times when I was focused on the shortages and work and L.A. traffic andÖ just generally being a grumpy old you-know. But lately I have begun to view life a bit differently. Thatís a good thing! I CAN be happy. I CAN choose to see the great things about my life, my family, my country, my business. I realized that misery is available in CANíTs and happiness comes in CANs.

          Christmas is when even the most dedicated grouches have motivation to smile. Itís when greed gives way to generosity. Itís a happy cheery season for anyone, even if they are not part of the spiritual root of it. Canít a person of some other religious belief enjoy watching kids giggle and smile at the mall? Canít a person involved in even atheism be lifted by all the colored lights and decorations? Of course they CAN, oh my goodness!

          When we were kids, Mom used to tell us to make lists of things we were happy about instead of grousing about lacks. Good plan! I am happy to have a business to support us. I am Happy to have a loving mate for life, and fine sons and beautiful grandchildren. Iím glad to be an American, free to self express and to have lived long enough to appreciate it. I give thanks for dental caps and readin g g lasses and Benadryl Gel and Polysporin cream. I am happy to have the National Geographic channel and Google and a mute button. Isnít it great to be able to get Saturday Night Live and Craig Ferguson and have Advil and kid sports? I am blessed with a faith which serves me well and buoys me up in down times. I have now experienced the happy new world of ďtext messagingĒ thanks to my grandkids, always smarter than I. Also happy to be able to submit these essays to PDCCAís good folks and share ideas with you.

          Sure there are problems in our life, our world. Of course the lawn needs mowed and the filter changed in the air conditioning and heat vent. But I am happy to have a lawn and the cooler, and thankful for the fairly long life I have been able to lead in pretty good health. There are wars and recessions, true, but there are birds in my hedges and neighbors on my street. The neighbors are busy and the birds donít care Ė they just play! There are good things to be experienced all around us all the time if we just look at them for a moment, and savor. I CAN do that, and happiness comes in CANs.

          However you celebrate these holiday times, may your attitudes and activities bring you delight and happiness, and may you spread it around! May you bless all those you touch. May the world return that to you amplified, expanded and reinforced. Sometimes a smile CAN be better than a fifty dollar bill, and also CAN have a greater ROI! Blessings to you this Christmas season! -fhs