How to Be Happy
Timothy Shay Arthur, 1856
I will give you several good maxims which may help you to become happier than you would be without knowing them. But as to being completely happy--that you can never be until you get to Heaven.
1. The first maxim is, "Try your best to make others happy."
"I never was happy," said a certain king, "until I began to take pleasure in the welfare of my people; but ever since then, in the darkest day, I have had sunshine in my heart."
2. My second maxim is, "Be content with little." There are many good reasons for this rule. We deserve but little; we require but little; and "Better is a little, with the fear of God, than great treasures and trouble therewith."
Two men determined to be rich, but they set about it in different ways; for the one strove to raise his means to his desires--while the other did his best to bring down his desires to his means. The result was, the one who coveted much, was always repining--while he who desired but little, was always contented.
3. My third maxim is, "Look on the sunny side of things." The skipping lamb, the singing lark, and the leaping fish, tell us that happiness is not confined to one place. God, in his goodness, has spread it abroad on the earth, in the air, and on the waters.
Two aged women lived in the same cottage; one was always fearing a storm, and the other was always looking for sunshine. Hardly need I say which it was wore a forbidding frown, or which it was whose face was lighted up with joy.