Can you remember the last time you were happy? Really happy? Be honest.
What makes some people happier than others? Why? Better circumstances, more money, better job, nicer car, maybe servants?
Last week we had one of those magnificent days. It was truly a “Carolina Blue Sky Day”. Not too hot, not too cold, not windy, picture perfect and I had to get out of my house, immediately. But where? What could I do? “Hmmmmm”. I had a crazy idea, so what did I do? I did it!
Strapped on my fanny pack, (yes, I really have a fanny pack), stuffed it with my business cards, mechanical pencil and field notes memo book, I took to the streets of Birkdale Village!
I asked 28 strangers, “When’s the last time you were happy”? Below are some of the answers.
Annette, 58 was the first person asked. She responded quickly, “I wake up happy”. Annette has had her share of grief lately, and expresses a gratitude for life and appreciation for each day.
Tito, 25 had an approachable look. It was apparent, he was on the job as he walked to his work truck. He asked, “What’s your definition of happy? ” I told him it was not a trick question! He answered, “I try to be happy all the time”. “It’s an attitude”.
Rodney, 51 and April, 49 came out of a store together, and it appeared they had made some purchases. When I approached Rodney, I asked, “Can I ask you a quick question”?, he replied, “I’m already married”! I looked at April and asked, “Are you happily married”? shezz “When was the the last time you were happy”? Rodney, looked a little scared of me… “Right now” and April said, “Now”.
Michaela, 14 with other family members, was the first to respond, “Probably, today”. (Personally, I’m not sure if that was a guess or a statement). Jason, 29 with a big smile on his face, “I’m happy right now”, as he cradled his 11 month son Cooper. Guess what his wife said? Same answer, “I’m happy right now”. Grandmother Bee, who hadn’t heard anyone else’s answers said, ” Oh today, because I have children, grand children, good health, I’ve had a good life,” When I asked for her age, I heard a few different ages being tossed around. Bee, decided her exact age was late 80’s.
Tom, 66 answered with a smile on his face, “Today, because next Friday is my last day of work”.
Josh, 15 “Now, because I’m eating Mike and Ike candy”. His answer made me laugh to myself, remembering how happy my kids were when I bought them a $2.00 candy bar, now it’s a $200.00 dinner!
Alina, 29 sitting on the outside patio, “When I clocked out and drank this beer”. Clark, 32 at the other table on the patio, said, “I know exactly when I was happy… it was 10 years ago when I was 22”.
Noa, 24, “When I was on vacation for spring break, on the cruise”.
Mike, 55 big laugh, “I’m always happy”!
Are people truthful when they tell you they are happy? How about when they say “always” happy?
One person recently experienced a great loss. I believe because of the enormous suffering she endured, she has found herself seeing the world differently. What’s true is what Charles Spurgeon said: “They who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls.”
The memory of happiness from 10 years ago, suggests a few scenarios. Either this person has been unhappy for the last 10 years, or his happiness from 10 years ago, was unforgettably magnificent.
The majority of people answered the question with the same type of answer… “Today, this morning, now, right now, when I woke up.” At first I had a renewed faith in humanity. Yay, people are happy! Admittingly, I expected answers based on money, sex and vacations. Then my brain thought differently. Why were people following one another’s answers”? Could it be the need to be accepted, or to feel part of a group. Will people lie in order to fulfill their desire? You bet they will!
Who wouldn’t be happy, shopping, eating ice-cream or playing at the park on a glorious day? How might the answers be different had I asked in the emergency room? Hmmmm