If you’re happy, and you know it . . . Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but not for everyone. I have three quotes from three famous people. I hope they help you find a little bit of happiness.
Quote #1 – There is in the worst of fortune the best chances for a happy change.
Who said it? Euripides! It came from one of his tragedies. Here’s a recording with a minute’s worth of information about him. Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
If you’ve never heard of Euripides, I’m not surprised. He wrote tragedies about 2500 years ago. Would you believe only three writers from ancient Greece had their complete plays survive? I hadn’t heard of the other two either – Aeschylus or Sophocles. I think it’s amazing that a quote about happiness came from a writer who specialized in tragedies. Source: Euripides - Wikipedia
This is how I’d illustrate Euripides’ quote, the worst of fortune leading to a happy change. It might be raining on their parade, but these two are still having fun, together.
Have you ever had something special planned, and then something goes wrong? It doesn’t turn out the way you expected. You could be sad, or you could look for the silver lining. Sometimes the unexpected, leads to more than you ever imagined.
Quote #2 – The only way to be happy is to make others happy.
Who said it? William Carlos Williams. He was 20 when he wrote it in a letter to his mom. Back then he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Here’s a link to a minute-long recording about him. Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
I’d never heard of William Carlos Williams. He was quite talented! He was a medical doctor, poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright. He may have been overshadowed by other writers, but he inspired the Beat generation of the 1950s and 60s. Who knew he lived a pretty normal life as a doctor for more than 40 years? Maybe that’s why his words still ring true to me!
Sources: William Carlos Williams | Poetry Foundation William Carlos Williams - Wikipedia
When I think about what William said, this is what I picture . . . SHARING. One of my firm beliefs is that when you give, you get. When you get, you give. They work together.
I’ve also heard that when you’re feeling down, look around. Look for something you can do for someone else. You’ll feel better, and so will they. I’d like to think that William Carlos Williams agrees with me too. How about you?
Quote #3 – Whoever is happy will make others happy too.
Who said it? Anne Frank. She’s unforgettable. She was forced to hide in an attic for 2 years during WWII. That’s when she wrote this sentence about happiness. Here’s a link to her recording. It’s about a minute long. Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
This is Anne, back in July 1942. It was taken two months before her family went into hiding. Her father knew about some concealed rooms in his office building. They were hidden by a bookcase. The photo below is a cutaway of that building. If you go to Wikipedia, you can enlarge it and identify each room.
This model reminds me of a doll house, but this was no children’s game of hide and seek for the Franks. If they were caught, they’d be sent to a concentration camp.
Anne took the diary she’d gotten for her birthday into hiding. She wrote in it regularly until her family was arrested in August of 1944. They were sent to Auschwitz, one of the worst camps.
Anne and her sister, Margot, were separated from their parents in November of 1944. They were sent to Bergen-Belsen, another infamous camp. They died a few months later, sometime in late February or early March. No one knows for sure.
Anne’s father was the only one in the family who survived the war. Otto lost his wife, his daughters. When he returned to Amsterdam, he found his secretary Miep Gies. She’d helped them hide, and she saved Anne’s diary. Otto published it in 1947 because Anne wanted to be a writer. She succeeded! Her diary has been published in over 70 languages.
What Anne wrote about happiness is incredible. She was so young and so wise. She found happiness in writing, and I get to share it with you.
I found this photo when I tried to illustrate her words. Happiness is contagious. Can you imagine how it spread from the boy to the girl? I think the same thing happens when your favorite team wins a game. Their joy becomes yours.
Information Source: Anne Frank - Wikipedia
Photo Sources: 1. Her house: By Alexisrael - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31562690
2. Anne and Margot’s grave: By Arne List - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=184880
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!