Republished from my other blog
Published on December 3, 2008 By ZubaZ In Personal Relationships

Last month I was involved in an email chain amongst some friends and I was led to respond. Alice has been having extra-ordinary bad luck; out of work, chronic pain, car troubles, kid troubles, lots of pain in her past. Bob thought his troubles were worse and was wondering how to be happy.

Email is probably not the best way to answer you Bob, but I'm going to take a shot anyway.

Alice has more faith in God than anyone I have ever known. I look up to her as a model for the kind I faith I want. But I would be hard pressed to say she is doing well. She has had a hard past and a tough present and none of us can imagine her future. But her life is filled with joy, and hope, and love.

You're in a tough spot too. You seem to be so unhappy. And I wish I could help but I have learned that happiness really does come from within.

When I was stuck in jobs I hated; I looked how I could do my job better and learn something and serve others. And at the same time I looked for other jobs. When I was working three jobs and still losing money; buying rotten potatoes so I could eat the good parts and filling my pockets with ketchup from McDonalds to make soup later; I moved across the country and started over.

I remember thinking that I needed an education to get ahead. I thought about prison as a step up from where I was; food every day, TV, a degree.

When I became unhappy with my social life; my friends, the things I was doing; I made a choice to do other things. And I lost friends and was lonely.

When my sister died and my parents divorced and made poor choices; I had to stretch to find the blessings in my life.

I find them every day now. Today is a good day Bob. Today can be a great day if you look for the little things and find joy in them.

A few things that might help (I have done or am doing them all):

  • Twelve step programs. I don't care what someone's problems are, they are awesome steps
  • Prayer
  • Living this life as if it were penance. Or maybe a step towards heaven. Either way, live a good life, do good works, actively try to bring joy or faith or hope or love to others
  • Volunteer with those who have lost more than you.
  • Smile.
  • Tell other people good things when they ask "How's it going?"
  • Never complain about Mondays and never wait for Fridays. If you don't like doing what you do Monday through Friday you are doing the wrong thing. Maybe you should be building shelters in Sri Lanka?
  • Go to 1/2 priced books and pick up 14,000 Things to be Happy About if you need some help finding happy things. Or you can have my copy and I'll buy a new one for myself.
  • Stop eatingmeat. {Just kidding}


I want you to be happy Bob. I want to help. I wish I was more empathetic or sympathetic. But it's not about me and my choices. It's about you and yours.

I used to have a poem on my wall. It went something like this:

Look well to THIS day.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But TODAY well lived
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, THIS day.

Good luck on the journey you are on Bob. You have options; walk alone, walk with us, walk with God. But sometime you have to just get off your ass and walk. And smile while you do it. {Even if you are faking it, someone will smile back, then you really smile . . .and everyone has a better day} .

God bless you Bob,
God bless you Alice,
God bless us everyone. We all need it.


Originally published May 2005

on Dec 16, 2008

There is so much truth in the post that I simply sit in awe of this one. I could grouse about the state of Medicine, etc. (and there's lots of et ceterae) but it wouldn't be the happy thing to do. I just try my best with each patient to make a difference...and to be a friend.

There are so many lonely and unhappy people...maybe the answer is to try to be a mesnsch (a human being...a good one) with the folks one meets in any role/job and make the best of the opportunities offered.

I think that's what G-d wants of us. Where the is no man, be thou the man. Turns out G-d needs people as much as we need G-d.

We are all G-d's instruments so we should act that way.

on Dec 16, 2008

We are all G-d's instruments so we should act that way.