Being a “Happiness Coach”: my vow of poverty

Over the weekend I accompanied a friend to a funeral. The crying and lamenting began during the wake, only intensifying as the departed lady’s coffin was lowered into the ground.

As I told my friend later, I hope my own “bon voyage” will be much more like a party or the traditional post-funeral parades they have in New Orleans.

Even without music, there should be plenty of laughter and singing. I’d be disappointed if someone doesn’t mention my weirdness, before they plant my ashes around the seed of a tree and wish me luck on my newest and grandest adventure.

Here’s how weird I am: since before I could walk or talk, my priority has been helping people smile. When I was nine months old, everyone who entered the room got a happy wave until I saw the smile and greeting I was looking for.

So please don’t ruin my last chance to do that when you say farewell, by crying!

This personality quirk has made me pretty popular. Until my 50s it was easy to find work, possibly because employers found my bright and outgoing manner pleasant.

And being naturally friendly made it much easier to discover the world without studying a local culture or language (I’m recording personal adventure stories for my grandson on a YouTube channel called “Stay Happy Samuel” as we speak).

Achieving a certain kind of success has always been quick and easy. The only measure of success I care about is improving somebody’s day.

My career and regular income haven’t done as well, though. People seem to enjoy the better mood I put them into, but rarely try to help me be more successful.

Everyone else in my family has achieved the stability and material success I can only dream of. Meanwhile I’m the weird adventurer, living by his wits and grateful for every smile.

Couldn’t have done anything differently if I’d tried.

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