August 2011 - OutreachNC Magazine

August 2011 - OutreachNC Magazine

20 OutreachNCAugust 2011

20 OutreachNCAugust 2011



Over My Shoulder

Ann Robson

It is a sad state of affairs

when things have gotten

so bad that we need

to declare a “Happiness

Happens” month in August.

How do you define


There is a Secret Society

of Happy People that

encourages the expression

of happiness and discourages parade-raining. Paraderainers

are those who do not want to hear your happy


The Society wants to “help people recognize more

happiness and encourage them to talk about it.” The

desired side effect of this is contagious happiness.

It is not easy to define happiness. What makes

me happy may drive another person to distraction.

However, since the idea is to spread the word about

happiness, I am pleased to share my happy things.

A beautiful sunset takes my breath away and

makes me happy that I have witnessed one of

nature’s many wonderful sights. Over the years, I

have taken more sunset pictures than I can count.

Now, sunrise is another thing. I have one sunrise

picture. As a non-morning person, I do not usually

watch the sun come up.

A young child’s smile brings happiness, particularly

if the smile is meant for me by a member of my

family. There is something so innocent and trusting

about that smile. I see no reason to tell them that life

is not going to be all smiles.

Having things in my universe in a happy alignment

is always heart-warming. Sure, we all encounter

some less than happy times, but when everything

seems to be perking along the way it should; that


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is happiness. It would be a super-happy event if we

could spread happiness to those who need it most.

There is so much strife, violence, fear and hunger in

the world. We cannot fix it all, but we could fix one

person or family.

My family brings happiness to our home. We are

fortunate to be able to enjoy life, and we do try to

spread some of that good feeling around.

But let’s face it, many people will have a tough time

telling you what happiness means to them. Asking a

few questions may help:

What was your happiest moment recently?

What song makes your toes tap?

What TV show makes you laugh?

What is your favorite childhood food?

Who makes you smile just thinking about them?

Where was your favorite vacation?

What is your favorite holiday?

If you find happiness tough to describe, here

are 31 other words that might help get you to

a more positive state: amaze, amuse, anticipate,

borrow, celebrate, cheer, compassion, contentment,

delight, enthusiam, exuberance, fun, give, gladness,

gratitude, hope, humor, inspiration, joy, love,

nostalgic, optimistic, peace, play, relief, satisfaction,

spirituality, spontaneity, surprise, sweetness and

vitality. Share any of these feelings, and you will

add happiness to both yourself and someone else. An

idea like that could catch on!

We have a tattered copy of the Charles Schulz book

“Happiness is a Warm Puppy,” which is one of my

favorites. It lifts my heart just to leaf through it and

smile at the pictures.

Happy Happiness Month!

E-mail Robson at


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