Is there such a place as Happy?  In truth there is. We have a Happy, Texas.  I don’t know anyone who lives there, but I suspect Happy, the town, is a lot like Harmony Baptist Church, there are splits in the splits. The Apostle Paul said he was content in whatever state he was in. I think contentment and happiness are interchangeable. It’s clear to me that Paul had not visited all the states in the United States. I’m sure there would be a couple Paul couldn’t even find happiness. It’s getting harder and harder for the fine folks of California and New York to remain content considering the massive amount of state taxes you good people face and the even more increases you are getting ready to be subjected to.

Some of my eBay family has been concerned that I work too hard and that I don’t get enough outside activities. I do every day what I love. If I were to win the lottery, I would continue to do about the same thing.  I’d have to hire a lawyer and someone to work with the money, but the things I do day to day wouldn’t dramatically change. I might hire a guard to man the front gate to keep long, lost relatives from getting to me and doing the begging thing. Those who win the lottery are hounded day and night from people wanting them to give, mostly fourth cousins who have a great idea and if they only had $100,000 they could get it off the ground.

Believe it or not I love feeding the horses in the early morning air. I love the smoke from their nostrils when it’s a tad cool.  I complain, but I do enjoy repairing a windmill, mending a broken pipe, or building a fence. Recently I replaced my wire gates with metal ones. Something I should have done ten years ago.  I enjoy planting, because the new corn or other feeds are so beautiful when the blades first break the crust.  I love working with cattle. I’m not into showing or raising that kind of cattle. But I get the same joy out of a good strong calf as people who raise the prize winners. I enjoy the creaking of a cold saddle and the hot shower at the end of the day. I find joy in very small things. I don’t need to be entertained. Just living is entertainment in itself.

I enjoy the social gatherings I have with my men and their families. I enjoy roping goats when we have those get togethers. I enjoy horseshoes and I can’t wait ’til it’s NFL time. I enjoy Cowgirl when we are together, but I don’t have to have a mate to feel fulfilled.

These blogs are a challenge, but to be honest I thrive on the challenge to write something you will enjoy and benefit from. I’m not a schooled writer. I write from my heart. I’m not a schooled painter. I paint from my heart. Some nights I get so engrossed in painting it’s 2:00 am before I realize the time.

All in all I’m a pretty happy dude. I get angry, but I don’t harbor the feeling.  I resolve the issue and turn the page. Much like reading a book, when the page is finished you flip to the next one. I deal with anger that way. It takes a good deal to rile me. Seeing a woman or a child abused is a flash button for me.

May I share with you the secrets of being happy.

1. Forgive: It is amazing how many people carry hatred all of their lives. I have never seen so much hate as the left showed and are still showing President George W. Bush. Now I’m seeing a similar hatred for Obama from the right. The only person you hurt with hate is yourself. There is evidence resentment, the inability to forgive is the core of cancer. You hear the saying, ‘the cancer is eating away at him/her.’  I think resentment, the failure to forgive is the fuel that feeds most cancers. I had a Texas Ranger friend who ended up the top man in the Rangers. His boss the man he replaced was, how shall I say, not a nice man.  He did some cruel things to my Ranger friend when he was just starting in the service.  He continued to be a bastard where so many of his men were concerned.  My Ranger friend ended up hating the older boss.  My friend said,  “When he dies I’m going to urinate on his grave.”

My ranger friend got stomach cancer. I visited with him several times. On one visit he told me I’m going to urinate in a jar and if I die before that SOB then I’m going to have one of my Ranger friends pour that on his grave. My Ranger friend died at the age of 60, taking his unwillingness to forgive to his grave. I have no doubt my Ranger friend’s resentment is the reason he lost the battle to cancer.  To my knowledge I hate no one and I have no resentment, not even against the drunken driver who killed my wife and unborn son. I learned to forgive way, way back. I call it letting go. If you want to be happy and content then you must learn to forgive. You must not hate. Sure it’s a whole lot easier to say than to do, but unless you find a way then you will be miserable your entire life.

2. Fear: Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  Mark Twain said, I’ve feared many things and a couple of them have actually materialized.  Right now the American people are frozen in fear of what’s going to happen. I know one woman who cannot sleep at night, because of her fears of the future. Will her husband lose his job? Will they starve if he does lose his job? Can she keep her kids in school?  She has made herself sick worrying about things that probably will never happen.

I get jillions of emails from my readers who have worried themselves into a dither. I don’t know if you know what a dither is, but that is Texan for worried out of your mind. We cannot control what’s happening in Washington. We cannot control the new president. We darn sure can’t control Congress. If you think you have problems, just remember this, somewhere out there is a Mr. Pelosi (smile).   I could write a book on fear. I will say this, as long as you are laced with fear your chances of being happy and content are slim to none.  The way I deal with fear is I face the problem, seek the answers and fix what I can. The rest I turn over to God.

3. Appreciation: All too often we are never happy with what we have. We want a bigger, faster, sleeker, cooler and hipper gizmo. I love my Ford pickup truck. Sure I see the newer, flashier trucks on the road, but mine is paid for. It starts when I turn the key. My pickup truck does everything those fancy jobs do. I appreciate my truck.

People say their neighbors are all sorts of bad things. I can’t wait to move and find new neighbors. In truth when you move you will find the same people in the next place. Learn to approve your neighbors. I learned to live with California Charlie and now I call him my friend. Trust me that day when his Jack jumped the fence between us and I found him with my mares I was ready to strangle that little bald head of his. My mares were in season and I didn’t cotton to the idea of a bunch of baby mules running around in a few months.

America is a country of wants. If you have plans to be happy then it is imperative you learn to be appreciative of what you have. Have a positive enjoyment of what God has given you instead of always complaining about what you don’t have.  Happiness is not dependent on things. A new blackberry, a new Ipod, a bigger television, a new toy. Happiness is the reception of what you have and not what’s missing. Learn to appreciate your job, your spouse, your church, your kid’s school, your neighbors. Do this and you have a shot at being happy.

4. Give: People who give are more happy than hoarders. Those of us who can give more and expect less are on the happy side of life. I know people who give to get. That is not giving. The latest trend in churches is if you are down and out and broke, give and God will pay you back ten fold. People in a money crunch give and wait by the mail box for God to mail them a check. The prosperity gospel: Give and get.  Let’s be honest folks, the bible teaches let not your right hand know what the left is doing. You should give from the deep of your heart and expect NOTHING in return. We now have mega churches that preach nothing but the gospel of prosperity. People tithe, not because of their love for God, but because they are expecting a big reward. Let me say it again. It is NOT giving if you are expecting a return on your investment. That is negotiation.

Where does being charitable fit in when you make a show of giving at a charity event? The real giver is the one who is anonymous. He gives with no expectation in return. We have a big word for it, philanthropic. Down here in this part of the country, we might say, openhanded.  He gave with an open hand. He didn’t have a clinched fist.

I’m not blessed with large stacks of money, so I give what is my most valuable possession, my time. I try to give to my neighbors. I try to give a leg up to those down. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I grew up in a home where giving without expectation was a way of life. We were dirt poor, but mama patched my clothes when I out grew them and gave them to people worse off than us. My dad would go help a neighbor bale hay in the hot Texas sun. That was back when baling hay was done with a mule walking round and round and pushing the hay into blocks.

You will never be happy and content until you learn to give and not expect to be rewarded.    Follow these four simple things and see your life change.

This is the end for tonight.  Will Cooper <><


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