“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher
A couple once recounted to me what life was like for them when they first got married. She told me how awful it was to go from always having money and food guaranteed at home to not having much at all. She said before they got married she had canned a lot of green beans and it got to the point where all they had to eat was green beans. “It was terrible. I cried every day,” She said. “I was so sick of green beans…but we were happy. We didn’t have much, but we had each other.” She calls that time their green bean days.
Whenever I get that longing feeling in the pit of my stomach I always remember this story. Could I be happy with just green beans? Could I be happy despite the unhappy situation? I’m a fairly content person but I constantly review my life. I constantly make sure that what I consider valuable is what will matter in the long run. Why? Because I want to be happy when I’m in my green bean days. I want to know that when I have nothing, I am content.
I agree with Henry Ward Beecher. Happiness is found when find it in common things. When green beans become magical, you are happy. When common life puts a smile on your face, you are happy. What’s so beautiful about that idea is that nothing can take that away. If money is your happiness, it can run out. If a house is your happiness, it can burn down. If your happiness is found in the small, common (and usually emotionally valuable things), you will always be happy.