It was 1996 and I had taken my seven-year-old son, Phillip, and his friend, Jordan, to Chuckie Cheeses for pizza and games. At the end of the outing, the young boys took the tickets they had won to the counter to trade them in for one of the prizes in the showcase. For a child, trading in these tickets is a lesson in the realities of life: The tickets you won are never enough to get the prize you have your eye on.
So, the youngster must mix, match, negotiate, and explore all possibilities before he makes his choice. I retired to a nearby booth to let the boys work it out with the attendant behind the counter. Finally, they finished and joined me. “Boy,” Jordan said, “That man sure hates his job.”
Today, I attended an event sponsored by the cooperative I work for, where 1200 classroom teachers came together to hear a motivational speaker. The title of her talk was “The Power of Positive Thinking” and she reminded us that the power Norman Vincent Peale wrote about over 50 years ago, in his book by that title, still works. She spoke of the healing touch of laughter, named a long list of comedians who lived into their 80s and beyond. (George Burns and Bob Hope, 100+.) In a nutshell, the secret of a happy and successful and fulfilling life is to have a positive outlook and to laugh often.
For you, dear friend, I wish that whatever you do for most of the hours in your day brings you satisfaction and joy, if for no other reason than it is a means to an end that will be satisfying and joyous. I hope you enjoy your “job.” Because if you don’t you won’t be able to fool anyone. Not even a seven-year-old boy.