“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12
Back in the 60’s and 70’s during his heyday I became a big fan of country singer Roger Miller. Many may remember him for his hit song “King of the Road”, but for me it was the nonsensical lyrics he so masterfully wrote and performed like “Do Wacka Do” that included a little “root doot doot doot do-wah.” What I loved about those nonsensical lyrics was . . . well, sometimes they actually made a lot of sense. Consider my all-time favorite that goes like this: “Oh, you can’t roller skate in buffalo herd, you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you’ve a mind to. All you gotta do is put your mind to it, knuckle down buckle down do it do it do it”.
Who in the world would even think up such a silly idea as rolling skating in a buffalo herd except, of course, do-wacky-do Roger Miller? It’s so absurd, in fact, it makes absolutely no sense, except that it does when you listen to the rest of the verse. And that’s the whole point of the song, that even in the midst of life’s absurdities “you can be happy if you’ve a mind to. All you gotta do is put your mind to it, knuckle down buckle down do it do it do it.”
Happiness is like love in that attaining it and retaining it is much more deliberate than it is circumstantial. That is to say it happens because we choose it – we put our mind to it – much more than because life hands it to us. Several years ago when my brother and sister-in-law were celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary their grandson, who was himself engaged to be married, asked his grandfather, “How do you manage to stay married for fifty years?” My wise brother responded with some very simple advice. You just do,” he said. In other words, living together and staying in love all those years – being happy! – does not just happen because you’re lucky. It is because you choose for it to be so, then do what it takes to make it happen, “knuckle down buckle down do it do it do it”.
As wise King Solomon once said, “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” And you can be happy too, if you’ve a mind to.