Last week’s investigation into “What causes happiness?” concluded that happiness was not caused by being filthy rich, having the man of our dreams, or landing the ideal job. So, what does?
I didn’t sit in my usual place on the porch this morning to enjoy coffee and nature. My mischievous black cat, Kiki, urgently beckoned me to the side of the house by the firepit where he was wildly jumping in the air in pursuit of flying mosquitoes or whatever was unlucky enough to catch his eye. I pulled up a lawn chair and surveyed my new location. While Kiki gyrated from one bug to another, my attention was drawn to some swaying weed stems.
“What is making those stems sway like that?” I asked myself. Aha! Tiny bees were busy flitting from one tiny flower to another in their mission to pollinate the unpollinated. Bees don’t discriminate between flowering sunflowers and flowering weeds. Makes no difference to them. A flower is a flower.
Sorry, quick trip to the kitchen because the black furry badass feline hunter just alerted me that he has earned a treat for decreasing the mosquito population in our yard. Now he is busily munching the tiny morsels, I will continue with my story of the swaying weeds. My brain cells were firing away with the revelation that one tiny bee’s action make a huge affect on a foot long stem. Now I had not one, but two, clues in our search for happiness.
First, looking at life from a different angle opens up more possibilities for leading a gleeful life. That change of scenery brought the pollinating bees into view. The lens on my telescope widened, bringing more clues into my awareness.
Second, a tiny bee’s actions make a huge impact on the behavior of a very long stem. Last week, I visited a friend that I haven’t seen in over 20 years and the resulting discovery was mind blowing. Just as his words of wisdom had made a difference in my thinking years before, I learned that my actions had motivated him to enjoy the freedom of riding around town on a Vespa.
Two variables necessary for happiness have now been revealed. Happiness is more likely to be discovered (1) when we get out of our comfort zone and (2) when we realize that we truly do make a difference.