Someone sent me an article the other day about the supposed secrets of extremely happy people. I won’t go into it here why I was suspicious about my friend’s reason for sending this to me, because I think I’m perfectly happy, it’s just that sometimes the glass *is* half empty… anyway. I read the article despite my trepidation and noticed a theme throughout: being true to yourself, and to spend time, effort and even money, on those you love, instead of just yourself. To give is to receive. And I had to agree that those were both great suggestions.
It also helped me better understand the customers who call into PinMart every now and then to replenish their stash of various lapel pins, which they give away to friends and complete strangers alike. There are men and women, young and old, who do this. Sometimes the pins are particular to an event like a holiday, and sometimes they just buy our smiley face lapel pins in bulk and give those away to Joes and Janes on the street who perhaps look a little glum. I always thought it was a great gesture, but didn’t make the connection between giving and receiving in such a way.
But the other thing I notice when these individuals call in, besides their purchasing large quantities of our pins for personal use, is how happy they seem to be to do so. They get a charge out of gathering their lapel pins together, and I imagine a much bigger charge when they see the smiles on the faces of these lucky recipients. They’re living the secrets of incredibly happy people, both in giving to others, and in being true to themselves. Because it takes a person secure in themselves to walk up to complete strangers and hand them a random pin, especially in today’s society.
Other suggestions on the list included getting enough sleep, and allowing yourself to lose track of time now and then when you’re having a creative or engaging experience. And great as those sound, I doubt I could convince, say, my dentist, that the reason I was three hours late for my appointment was because I’d lost myself in an engaging nap, and could I please still be seen? Giving away smiles and lapel pins though… that’s easy enough to do. But don’t tell anyone: it’s a secret.