Archive | November, 2010

Bit of Happy #56: Look On The Bright Side

30 Nov

“You can complain that roses have thorns, or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.”
-Ziggy

This was actually one of the very first quotes I jotted down in my book. The author, Ziggy, definitely has a point that should not be missed. So often we blind ourselves of the positives in a given situation. We close our minds to the optimistic point of view – the flip side. Certainly not limited to roses, looking on the bright side of things in life should be as important as……. brushing your teeth in the morning – REALLY. Think about it. After you have just brushed your teeth, you’re left feeling clean and refreshed, right? Looking on the bright side of things will have you feeling the same way! Trust me. Well maybe not quite ‘clean,’ but certainly uplifted, like a breath of fresh air.

Okay, that whole ‘toothbrush’ analogy may have been stretching it a bit. I probably should have just stuck with the roses. I admit it!!! Anyway, I wanted to share a story with you; one that my grandmother always told me as a child. One that I try to keep in the back of my mind as I go through each day.

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It’s a story about my mother’s brother, Gregory (my uncle). He’s one of the happiest, most easy going people I’ve ever met – not a care in the world. Greg is also mentally disabled with the intelligence of about a four or five-year-old. He cannot read, write or drive, but he’s very smart in other ways. And one of his greatest gifts is his ability to bring out the best in people. Despite a lot of difficult challenges he’s been faced with through out life, he still finds a reason to smile and a way to see the positive in every situation. The best part about it is that he’s had this strength – this incredible talent – since he was little.

My mother gave Greg a birthday card for his 8th birthday – a Snoopy birthday card. (Snoopy was (and still is) his favorite cartoon character.) He was so excited to have received this card that he wanted to take it to school to show his class. At noon, all of the children had gone out to play for recess, and Greg wanted to show a classmate his new birthday card.

Greg handed the boy his birthday card and said, “Look, look! My sister got me a Snoopy card for my birthday.”

The boy observed the front of the card and then the inside. He then looked down at Greg and tore the card in half before handing it back to him.

Greg looked down at his card, now torn in two separate pieces. His face crinkled in dismay. He then looked up at the boy, and his features softened into a gentle smile. He held up his birthday card ripped in two pieces – one in each hand.

Now… I have two,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. Greg was completely genuine and sincere in the tone behind his words.

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Despite the negativity in the boy’s actions, Greg chose to see right through them and find the bright side of the situation. The significance lie not in the ripped birthday card, but in Greg’s reaction. The focus should not lie in the negativity, but in the optimism expressed in light of something not so favorable. I think if we all took a little more time to look on the bright side, we would find a lot more happiness in our future.

I just fell in love with this story the moment I heard it. So innocent. So brave. So optimistic. It’ll be one I carry with me for the rest of my life. Just a little reminder for myself. A little reminder to look on the bright side. And maybe (if I’m lucky enough), you’ll use this story as a reminder to do the same.

Do you have a story similar to this one where you or someone you know saw the bright side of a not so great situation?

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Bit of Happy #55: See The World

29 Nov

Today’s Music Quote Monday is a song called ‘See The World’ by Gomez. I can’t remember the first time I heard it, or where I was; nonetheless, it’s definitely a song you shouldn’t let pass you by without giving it a try. So, let me know what you think! My comments are below the YouTube video.

I believe, this song, with the powerful lyrics that it has, can be taken in a handful of different ways. However, I love the underlying meaning – the unmistakeable message in these words. I think ‘See The World’ is speaking to all of those lost souls out there. The ones who have wandered off the right path. The ones who don’t know where to turn – are exhausted and worn down from the repetitive pattern of everyday life. The ones who have developed a coldness toward the world and the people around them – built unbreakable walls around what brings them comfort. This song recognizes the ruts people can get in and motivates them to find a way out; to “see the world” and “find an old fashioned girl.”

And outside of the inspiring lyrics, I love the melody. It’s upbeat and happy. There’s no better song to listen to when it’s a warm, sunny day with a gentle breeze blowing, or when you’re in your car with all the windows down. Even when I’m exhausted and disheartened from a recent challenge, this song encourages me to find something to smile about. Hopefully it does the same for you.

Happy Monday!

Bit of Happy #54: The Source

26 Nov


“Discontent is the source of all trouble, but also of all progress, in individuals and nations.”
-Berthold Auerbach

When we are not happy with something or someone, one of two things can happen – either trouble (resulting through negative tactics) or progress (resulting through positive change). I guess we can also choose to do nothing, but in reference to this quote, it is speaking of situations where one is pushed to his or her limit. And in some situations it may not just be one; it could be a family, a group of people, a religion, a country or the entire world. With enough discontent present, something will change. Whether through trouble or progress, we are forced to act and find comfort in our decisions. And with these decisions, a more desirable outcome will hopefully surface.

Think about it. Apply it to your life. This quote has a ridiculous amount of truth. In disagreements. In debates. In war. And in charity initiatives. In outreach programs. In movements. When we recognize enough discontent, we find enough drive to make change happen. In most recent years, we’ve been challenged with enough discontent to make change – to make a lot of change. We’ve been called to react. Decide. Move forward. What type of challenges? When the terrorist attacks hit the World Trade Center on 9/11. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. When the Indian Ocean Tsunami reached the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and others.

Throughout life, we will be presented with difficult times. Times where we may not approve of something or someone’s choices. Times where things may happen that we just don’t understand the justification behind it. Whether on a personal level or on a much larger scale, we must speak up when life calls us to do so. We must rise to the challenge to make positive change. When I first came across this quote a couple weeks ago, I knew I wanted to share it. I knew I wanted to have this discussion and bring this type of awareness. This quote leaves room for a lot of interpretation, a lot of open-ended thought. And for that very reason and the meaning behind the words of this quote, it is exactly why I wanted to share it on Little Bits of Happy.

Happy Friday! See you bright and early on Monday – well, the post may not come until after work. Either way, it’ll be on Monday at some point. Hope you all have an incredible holiday weekend. Stay safe, and eat lots and lots of TURKEY! (I know I have already.)


Bit of Happy #53: Count Your Blessings

25 Nov

Rocking Chair by a Warm Fire, December 2009

“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.”
-Anonymous

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I hope each of you takes a few moments at some point today to recognize all of the wonderful things you have in life. Family, friends, a roof over your head, food to eat, a warm bed to sleep in are just scratching the surface. Look around you and take the time to count all of your blessings. And if they are specific people, let them know how grateful you are for them to be in your life.

I came across this quote today, actually. I was in search for a great Thanksgiving Day quote and felt this one fit perfectly! I loved the sense of selflessness, “give without remembering,” and appreciation, “receive without forgetting,” that can be learned from this quote. By giving without regard to oneself, you learn to be selfless. By receiving from others and never forgetting that gift, we learn to appreciate. I think if we all try to live a little more by this quote, there will be a lot more happy to spread around!

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Bit of Happy #52: Improve and Progress

24 Nov

“Let us strive to improve ourselves, for we cannot remain stationary; one either progresses or retrogrades.”
-Mme. Du Deffand

Improvement. Growth. Progression.

Deterioration. Diminish. Retrogression.

Which set of words do you perceive more valuable? More desirable to attain? I think it goes without saying which will lead to a more meaningful life. And with this thought in the forefront, what will be your next move?

I try to reflect. And reflect often. On my everyday actions. On the way I treat loved ones. On how I approach those who may be difficult to get along with. And by reflecting, what does one gain?

Well, I believe one can improve him or herself. By striving to improve on certain actions, habits and perhaps, your overall character, you progress. You move forward. You learn. You grow. It is impossible to remain stationary in life. Either you move forward or you move back. Either you progress or you regress. And maybe improve isn’t even the right word. But I believe that if we strive to be the best we can be, inside and out, we will become a better person. We shine positivity onto to others. We live out the life we desire.

I came across this quote a few days ago and fell in love with the truth invested in the words. I think we can all take something from it, and at the very least, consider reflecting on what we ultimately want out of life and what we need to work on to achieve that.


Bit of Happy #51: Kind Words and Kind Deeds

23 Nov

“Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits.
Take care of your garden,
And keep out the weeds,
Fill it with sunshine,
Kind words and kind deeds.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If this quote got any happier, I think it would burst! But that’s why I love it so much. It encourages us to be loving and caring. It teaches us the importance of having compassion for ourselves and others. Each time I read this quote, I picture the most beautiful garden I can imagine. Every day, I try to carry that garden within myself wherever I go and share it with all I meet.

Hopefully it inspires you to do the same!


Bit of Happy #50: Forever

22 Nov

It’s Bit of Happy #50 today! For some reason, I feel like this is some kind of milestone that I should recognize – half way to one hundred. Kind of ironic that today’s song is titled ‘Forever.’

Made me wonder how long Little Bits of Happy will last. I started this blog with no distinct idea of when I would be finished – no clear end point. The only goal I truly wanted to accomplish was to inspire others to seek out their own happiness through my little bits of happy, my favorite quotes. But when will I know I’ve reach that? Maybe I’ll find the answer to this question one day. But for now, I’m okay with not knowing. I’m okay with this question going unanswered.

Now to the song! ‘Forever’ by Ben Harper has been one of my favorites ever since I heard it for the first time. The gentle melody, the softly spoken lyrics and the revealed truth make this song one that I’ll never stop listening to. Sung almost at a whisper, the feeling expressed in these lyrics are strong and unforgettable. So feel free to have a listen. Hope you enjoy it!

“Forever always seems to be around when things begin, but forever never seems to be around when things end.”

The forever he sings about in this song, “Not talking about a year. No, not three or four. I don’t want that kind of forever in my life anymore,” is the kind of forever that everyone wants to find one day, right? But when do things truly last   f  o  r  e  v  e  r ? When is there as much passion and love in the beginning as there is in the end? Is it even possible? So often, our relationships take on a superficial type of forever. So often, things end with heart break. So often, things end in separation. So often, things end in divorce. What was once forever reflecting in your eyes, now leaves you wondering if things will last until tomorrow. Wow, this doesn’t sound very encouraging…

But it is meant to. Even with all odds against me, I still believe forever exists. I believe it is possible. I hope I can find my forever. Not necessarily any time soon – but one day. This song is meant to make you reflect. Make you think. Think about the future. Think about what you truly want out of this life. This song makes me recognize what the world is too often like, but it also makes me believe that there are still people out there looking for the real forever. The type of love that never dies. The type of love that understands and makes no promises that the cool winds won’t blow. The type of love that, against all odds, will never let the flame burn out, no matter what.

“So give me your forever, not a day less will do… from you.”

My BIGGEST question for you is… Did you see this as a sad song or a happy one? Was it the melody that made it sad or the lyrics?

Did you take something differently from this song?

Do you disagree with the lyrics or do you believe that are right on point?


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