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Taking a Chance for Happiness

We all do it, even though the “it” is different for each of us.

Some people love to exercise, yet I will drive in circles, literally, trying to think of a reason not to show up for a yoga class until it’s so late I just couldn’t possibly go anyway. After all, I wouldn’t want to interrupt the serious exercise people!

I know that overeating desserts and other sweets isn’t good for me, yet I would still be happy to skip the entrée and go straight to the ice cream parlor, and I know I am not the only person who feels this way.

And what about learning new things or really getting involved in a new learning opportunity! I LOVE doing that, yet that is where so many others take one look at an opportunity to learn something new, and say, “Can’t I just relax? I’m too tired to work on that right now.”

Ahhh, the mysteries of life.

What one person loves, the other person doesn’t. But isn’t that what makes the world go round?

I think it might be the same with seeing people unlike ourselves. We don’t understand their accents, their foods, or their religions. We’re suspicious of what they’re thinking, what they’re getting ready to do, and want to protect our loved ones for the possible negative influence.

Is this really necessary? I think not.

I think it is true that we are leery when we don’t understand, but I also think it is worth the time to learn about the similarities rather than the differences. The next time you encounter someone new, give yourself the opportunity to experiment.

  • If you see someone “new” getting ready to take a picture, ask them if they’d like you to take the picture for them. I did this to a group who, quite frankly, scared the devil out of me, and was so pleasantly surprised to receive their responses of appreciation, gratitude, and kindness. I don’t think they expected this person who looked so conservative, as I must have looked to them, to approach them with an offer of assistance!
  • If you see someone laden with packages, or juggling all their belongings, ask them if you can help them in any way. Put a big smile on your face and a happy tone in your voice. I thought the eyes were going to pop out of the head of the last person to whom I offered my assistance. But, then, I was met with a giant smile, and relieved word of thanks, and, again, gratitude and appreciation.

This might sound “dangerous” to some, but might that simply be the result of hearing of so many scary things that happen in the world today? Probably, but you don’t have to put yourself in a dangerous position to make these offers! Within your daily arena, attending to your typical chores or errands, take a chance. Offer to help someone else. Go out of your way to help a stranger. Watch the walls of suspicion decline, your world expand, and your personal level of happiness and joy grow.

It is so much fun!

Teacher, Principal, Tutor, Therapist

Susie Wolbe, Ed.D.,  an educator with over 30 years of experience as a teacher, principal, tutor, and therapist, teaches strategies to improve social-emotional interactions through mindfulness meditation, a secular form of meditation. Dr. Wolbe also emphasizes study-organization skills, brain research, and creating balanced lifestyles. TEA has designated that CPE hours are offered for Dr. Wolbe's classes for Texas educators (#902209).