When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world. -- Mr. Rogers
So it's that time again... Most of us have just finished making our New Years' Resolutions to lose weight, get a better job, redecorate the living room, or whatever thing it is that we think will make us happier, make our lives better. Some of us (who shall remain nameless) have even already broken those resolutions by raiding the pantry for leftover Christmas cookies...
This year I'd like to ask you all to add one resolution from me to your list. The quote above and associated graphic have been popping up on Tumblr and Facebook pretty frequently since the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school several weeks ago. It's a quote I've always loved, and when I read it to myself I can even hear Mr. Roger's voice in my head, in that soft, friendly tone he had that just seemed to always make you feel safe and loved. So I ask all of you to make a conscious decision to be a helper in the world.
Being a helper doesn't require a disaster, you don't have to run into a burning building, or towards the sounds of gunfire. It can be as simple as helping your neighbor carry in her groceries, helping tidy up the break room in your office at the end of the day, or offering to complete some household chore that isn't typically yours. Any of these things seem so small, but they can lighten the load for someone else immeasurably. Before the holidays we introduced you all to Vrere, who has chosen to devote her life to being a helper. You can follow her example and volunteer your time for a local charity, church, or hospital.
Here at Delivering Happiness we talk a lot about where true happiness comes from. Yes, things like money, status, and stuff can give you a momentary high, but those highs aren't sustainable. Eventually the money is spent, or you have all the things you want, and the newness wears off. Sustainable happiness comes from things far less tangible, and for many folks, the chance to consistently create happiness in the lives of others is one of those intangible things that can bring great joy. I'd like to ask each of you to commit to being a helper this year, in whatever way you can in your life. Help us nudge the world to a happier place, and make a direct difference in the life of someone else.
Oh, and Happy New Year!