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On March 22, my flight from Atlanta to Knoxville was a treat. The Delta attendant convinced two of the sweetest little girls, ages 4 and 11, to sing to travelers on the plane while waiting on the runway before take-off. With a treat, the attendant won over the girls and they agreed to sing “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” By the end of the song, all of us where clapping to their tune.

As I sat on the plane, looking out over the beautiful blue skies 18,000 feet above ground, the song reminded me that there is so much in life to be happy about even if you are in the midst of a bumpy flight or bumpy relationship. I am normally a little tense whenever the plane is tossed about in the air. On this particular day, the shaking of the plane did not bother me as much because my thought was infused by the majestic lyrics of that classic song.

I believe that happiness can be experienced wherever and whenever. The height or distance is not a factor in experiencing happiness. Too often people struggle to find happiness because they are focused on achieving or having big things, such as expensive cars, fancy clothes or large homes. Happiness can be found by the appreciation of life, moments of pleasure and the simplest things.

Happiness can be defined as a sense of well-being, a feeling of joy, or contentment. When people are successful, safe, or lucky, they feel happiness. Empirical evidence shows that faith, family, and friendships increase happiness. Shawn Achor, author and American happiness researcher, says “for me, happiness is the joy we feel striving for our potential.”

Happiness is good for our health because medical research has shown that happy people, when compared to depressed and unhappy people, have stronger immune systems and have a longer lifespan. If you are happy, you will feel more contentment and you will tend to share your blessings with others. So never forget that your happiness is beneficial to all your relationships.

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten