The Secret of Happiness

You may not have noticed but at the top of this website is my motto: The secret of happiness: be nice and have a laugh.

I am a firm believer in that. Really. It is the reason why the other half and I have never come to blows. Not that either of us is violent or prone to socking it to 'em but, like all couples, we have our moments... when he does something that annoys me. Obviously, I never do anything that annoys HIM!

That we have lived in harmony for more years than either of us care to mention is not only because we are both, on the whole, pretty laid back but also because he uses humour to defuse any confrontation. I start off being livid with him and we have a "frank discussion" about why I am right and he is wrong (!) but I nearly always end up laughing my socks off.

Not everyone has the same attitude. The vitriol that passes for reasoned argument these days is frightening. Some of the trolls on social media are vicious, cruel and often, it seems, mentally certifiable. 

I live with a man who has strong views on just about everything, from climate change and censorship; from the price of eggs to how to plane a plank of wood correctly. But he likes to be challenged, to hear the other point of view, to have a reasoned discussion - apart from the planing thing; he's a cabinetmaker and is beyond expert in planing wood, so don't try to tell him he's doing it wrong!

I have worked with people from all walks of life and many of them are my Facebook friends. They have differing views on politics and global issues. Unfortunately, a few of them will not tolerate a difference of opinion. Occasionally they "unfriend" people who disagree with them. I've got to a stage where I refuse to engage. I won't comment on political posts or world issues. Maybe it's cowardice on my part but it makes for a much more peaceful life.

So what made me write this post? I happened across the following Mark Twain excerpt from his Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings. It really struck a chord with me.

“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh - not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.” 

Before you leave: Here's a book that will, hopefully, make you laugh! Not So Sweet Toffee

You can follow me on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. As you can see, I have far too much to say for myself.

Before you leave:
You can follow me on: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. As you can see, I have far too much to say for myself.


  1. Mark Twain would be cancelled today. I think some of his books are, as he uses the "N" word. Does not matter the context or the historical accuracy, he does use the word.

  2. I only discuss religion and politics with my hubby and mom.

  3. It depends on the topic, though. When one disagrees that the other is deserving of human dignity, I have issues.

  4. I have a niece who "unfriended" me recently. I disagreed with some "good news" she had found online that meant we wouldn't need to have covid vaccines. We bickered back and forth a bit via phone text, then I learned I was just as stubborn as her father, (my brother) and I don't need to have contact with her anymore. We texted a bit more after that, but nothing since and I find I really don't care anymore. I can agree to disagree, but I don't think she can.

  5. The lack of civil conversation makes me sad. Humor is a wonderful antidote.