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Hi.

Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Thanksgiving and the Secret of Happiness by Orlando Bartro

This short article might make you happy.

You see, I know a little secret, and you might as well learn what it is.

It’s been said that everyone wishes to be happy.

But first, a word about etymology.

The word happy is derived from hap, meaning luck.

Happy, therefore, is related to words such as happenstance and happening.

And a happening involves luck, that most fickle of Lady Fortune’s gifts.

To be happy, etymologically, is to be lucky.

And certainly, many would admit that happiness and luck are related.

But have you heard of unhappy lottery winners? . . . I have.

 An unhappy man amidst plenty: "Der Voller" by Georg Emanuel Opiz.

An unhappy man amidst plenty: "Der Voller" by Georg Emanuel Opiz.

Many are miserable amidst plenty.

But I know a happy man who has cancer.

You will surely know of similar examples.

An objection here might be made: The lottery winner isn’t unhappy with the money.  He’s unhappy because his family expects him to buy them fancy cars and jewels. He’s unhappy because he’s learned that his family thinks of him only as a cash machine.

 “Errol Flynn in Captain Blood.” Picture is in the public domain because it was published between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice.

“Errol Flynn in Captain Blood.” Picture is in the public domain because it was published between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice.

And that reminds me of Errol Flynn.

Errol Flynn was once the most famous, most highly paid actor in Hollywood.

Once upon a time, I read Flynn’s autobiography: My Wicked, Wicked Ways. And he wrote something unforgettable, but I paraphrase: 

“I was the most famous man in the world, the most highly paid actor in Hollywood. I was loved by the most beautiful women. I was praised by all. I was at the top of the world. And I found nothing there. There’s nothing at the top of the world.”

I had to read that again: “There’s nothing at the top of the world.”

You see, Errol Flynn didn’t know the secret.

He didn’t know the secret I’m going to tell you at the end of this little article.

Everyone who celebrates—truly celebrates—Thanksgiving knows this secret.

 "Holyday" by James Tissot

"Holyday" by James Tissot

And here it is:

Gratitude is the secret to happiness.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude; I repeat gratitude for emphasis, so you’ll remember. 

The more grateful you are, the happier you’ll be.

Show me an unhappy Errol Flynn, and I’ll show you an ungrateful man.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 "Thanksgiving" by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe; public domain photograph of a public domain painting

"Thanksgiving" by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe; public domain photograph of a public domain painting

Orlando Bartro is the author of Toward Two Words, a novel about men-women relationships, available at Amazon. He is currently writing two new novels and a play.  You can hear his insights into the beauties of fiction at the Grassy Elbow at Youtube.

 https://www.amazon.com/Toward-Two-Words-Orlando-Bartro/dp/0998007501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462224367&sr=8-1&keywords=Toward+Two+Words

 

 

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