“Seek to do good and you will find that happiness will run after you.” (James Freeman Clarke)
For this quote I could write about good things I have done, and how they relate to happiness. But, that kind of self-aggrandizing post wouldn’t inspire me or anyone else. Today this quote makes me think of my lovely, caring wife.
My wife knows no other way to live her life, but to do good for others, and to give wholly of herself. I could start writing today, and write for the rest of this year about all the good that she has done for me personally, and for our immediate family. But that would fall short of capturing how giving she is.
When there is someone in need that my wife encounters she reaches out. Her usual vehicle for her outreach is food. Whenever there is a family that is going through difficulty, she is the one who makes sure that the family is fed. I am not talking here about going out and buying a tray of food, or carry-out from a restaurant. That would, in itself, be an amazing gesture and worthy of praise. But, that isn’t what she does. She goes to the grocery store, buys the best of ingredients, and then spends her time carefully preparing a meal fit for the finest dinner party. She has a real talent and skill for cooking, and she brings that to bear in these meals.
A few years back some of our best friends were going through the loss of one of their fathers. We also knew the father, and it was an emotional time for my entire family as well. While the family was keeping vigil at the hospital, my wife went into gear. She brought them a tray of food she’d prepared herself to make sure that not a single member of that family had to leave their father’s or grandfather’s side. When he sadly passed, she went back to work to make sure that the family had wholesome, filling food at the funeral home as well. Her level of work, love and dedication knows no bounds.
More recently another family with whom we are friends was going through the enormous job of moving their parents out of a town house and into an apartment. Back in the 1990s we went through this as a family for my mom, so we remember well how difficult that can be. My wife spent her Sunday afternoon gathering just the right ingredients so that when the packing was done, and the family was exhausted they could sit to a fine meal. Not a meal brought home in a bag, or in a flat box, but a real, sit-down, Sunday dinner. She let me know that her plan for next weekend, when the move actually happens, is to spend the whole day with them; first watching their children, then making dinner.
This quote tells me that if one does good, that happiness will “run after” them. My wife doesn’t spend her life chasing after happiness, like so many others do. And yet, she is among the happiest people I know. To be sure she has her days when she isn’t completely happy, just as everyone does. But on the whole she is a happy person.
Today, I am inspired by my wife. Like so many other people in the world, I struggle at times to chase after happiness. I wonder and worry about how to be a happier person. All this, while the best example of having that happiness chase after me sits across from me at dinner every night. Thank you, dear! Today, you inspire me to do more good, and to give more of myself.