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Finding your happy thought

February 19, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Madame Lozil (foreground, in red head wrap) is hosting more 115 people who are displaced from Port-au-Prince at her family business, a discotheque, in the Haitian city of Mirebalais. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

It’s the Lunar New Year and we’re close to three months into 2010. So far my new year’s resolutions are holding up: I’m cooking more, bringing leftovers for lunch the next day and making use of my reusable coffee mug. I haven’t learned to ride a motorcycle yet, but that one is a roll-over from last year so it is definitely still on the list!

Most importantly, I’m making a conscious effort to absorb the happy thoughts in life. I will freely admit, and my friends will confirm, that I am not of the “glass half full” tribe. It is so easy to focus on the negative, so I’ve made it a resolution to take note of the positive moments that happen each day.

There was the homeless man who called out to a woman who had unknowingly dropped some money. The pharmacist who went out of her way to help clarify a miscommunication so I could get my prescription filled. The elderly man I helped by carrying his bag up a flight of stairs. The guy at the public pool who let me swim even though I was a dollar short because I hadn’t known about the fee increase.

I think about the countless kind gestures being shown with regards to the crisis in Haiti from both the local and international communities. It has been extremely moving to see the public’s compassion and response to the recent earthquake, but we can’t rely on natural disasters as our source of motivation.

I truly hope that we are all able to keep this momentum going throughout the year, whether it be a random act of kindness or reaching out to people in need. Recognizing these connections and good intentions really does make the day better.

I resolve to appreciate the positive moments in life and will strive to be other people’s happy thoughts!