"The days that make us happy make us wise."----John Masefield
when I first read this line by England's Poet Laureate, it startled me. What did Masefield mean? Without thinking about it much, I had always assumed that the opposite was true. But his sober assurance was arresting. I could not forget it.
Finally, I seemed to grasp his meaning and realized that here was a profound observation. The wisdom that happiness makes possible lies in clear perception, not fogged by anxiety nor dimmed by despair and boredom, and without the blind spots caused by fear.
Active happiness---not mere satisfaction or contentment ---often comes suddenly, like an April shower or the unfolding of a bud. Then you discover what kind of wisdom has accompanied it. The grass is greener; bird songs are sweeter; the shortcomings of your friends are more understandable and more forgivable. Happiness is like a pair of eyeglasses correcting your spiritual vision.
积极的快乐 – 并非单纯的满意或知足 – 通常不期而至，就像四月里突然下起的春雨，或是花蕾的突然绽放。然后，你就会发觉与快乐结伴而来的究竟是何种智慧。草地更青翠，鸟吟更甜美，朋友的缺点也变得更能让人理解，宽容。快乐就像是一副眼镜，可以矫正你的精神视力。
Nor are the insights of happiness limited to what is near around you. Unhappy, with your thoughts turned in upon your emotional woes, your vision is cut short as though by a wall. Happy, the wall crumbles.
The long vista is there for the seeing. The ground at your feet, the world about you----people, thoughts, emotions, pressures---are now fitted into the larger scene. Everything assumes a fairer proportion. And here is the beginning of wisdom.
I remember quite clearly now when the story happened. The autumn leaves were floating in 1)measure down to the ground, recovering the lake, where we used to swim like children, under the sun was there to shine. That time we used to be happy. Well, I thought we were. But the truth was that you had been 2)longing to leave me, not daring to tell me. On that precious night, watching the lake, vaguely 3)conscious, you said: “Our story is ending.”
The rain was killing the last days of summer. You had been killing my last breath of love, since a long time ago. I still don’t think I’m gonna make it through another love story. You took it all away from me. And there I stand, I knew I was going to be the one left behind. But still I’m watching the lake, vaguely conscious, and I know my life is ending.
Some people are born with the belief that they are masters of their own lives. Others feel they are at the mercy of fate.New research shows that part of those feelings are in the genes.
Psychologists have long known that people confident in their ability to control their destinies are more likely to adjust well to growing old than those who feel that they drift on the currents of fate.
Two researchers who questioned hundreds of Swedish twins report that such confidence, or lark of it, is partly genetic and partly drawn from experience.
They also found that the belief in blind luck-a conviction that coincidence plays a big role in life is something learned in life and has nothing to do with heredity.
The research was conducted at the Karolinska Institute-better known as the body that annually awards the Nobel Prize for medicine by Nancy Pedersen of the Institute and Margaret Gatz, a professor of psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Their results were recently published in the United States in the Journal of Gerontology.
People who are confident of their ability to control their lives have an "internal locus of control,"and have a better chance of being well adjusted in their old age, said Pedersen.
An "external locus of control," believing that outside forces determine the course of life, has been linked to depression in latter years, she said.
"We are trying to understand what makes people different. What makes some people age gracefully and others have a more difficult time?" she said.
The study showed that while people have an inborn predilection toward independence and self-confidence, about 70 percent of this personality trait is affected by a person's environment and lifetime experiences.
Pedersen's studies, with various collaborators, probe the aging process by comparing sets of twins, both identical and fraternal, many of whom were separated at an early age.
The subjects were drawn from a roster first compiled about 30 years ago registering all twins born in Sweden since 1886. The complete list, which was extended in 1971, has 95,000 sets of twins.
"I'm going to marry you one day." Beth said to her long time crush Jake. She wore her favorite blue teddy bear shirt. Her four-year-old blue eyes shined in the sun.
"No you're not, you're a girl." Jake said.
The California afternoon wind blew his light brown hair. Jumping off the monkey bars he laughed back to class.
Sitting alone and confused she didn't know what to do. Beth sat high on the monkey bars crying. How can her future husband just leave like that?
She was going to get him, but how? "I will not let him get away! I won't! I won't!"
15 years later:
"I love you, too, Jake." Hanging up the phone she caught her mom smiling. "What?"
"When is he coming in from France? He's been there for awhile." She sat down on her black leather couch. The house was made up of different Indian stuff. On the walls were different dream catchers. Her mother was a full blood Cherokee Indian. She passed away when Beth was eight.
"He has a lot of schooling to do right now. Maybe this Saturday."
Fixing her short overalls she thought of Jake. Who would have thought they were going to date when she turned five?
"Is he still living in Colorado?" Her mother Kay wore a white tank top with tan pants. And long blonde hair with pretty blue eyes. She was the most beautiful woman on Earth. And Beth is looking like her by the minute.
"Yeah, I hate having a long distance relationship." She plopped on a leather chair.
"It's ok baby, you know he loves you more than anything in this world. Love will keep you together."
Beth could not help but smile. Her mother is and will always be her best friend.
Jake sat in his hotel the school rented for him. School of law. He loved going overseas for everything. But he missed being with Beth. That hurt him the most.
Spending the lonely nights in the hotel made him think of how much it would hurt to spend the rest of his life without her in it.
Getting up off his bed he went into the bathroom. Watching his reflection in the mirror, all he could think about was Beth. He would leave Thursday, and get there Friday night.
Turning off the light he jumped into the cold bed. On a coffee table near his bed rested a frame with them in it. It was taken at a beach about two years ago. It was the best time of their lives.
It was Thursday morning and Beth waited for Jake's morning phone call. He would call at eight — it was ten.
Beth got out of bed and got her favorite blue tank top. She took off her shirt and screamed at the top of her lungs.
"What? What?" Her mother came rushing into her room. Staring at her naked daughter she saw the lump of her breast. "Does it hurt?"
Beth could only say "No." Looking at the lump, she cried in pain.
"Let's get you to the doctor."
"Ok, let me get dressed."
Shutting the door behind her, the room became silent. Shaking she put on her shirt, and ran out into the living room.
"Mom, where are my blue shorts?"
"In the dresser, second drawer."
Finishing getting dressed she hopped into her car. Her red mustang drove like a baby.
They waited for the doctor to come in. Beth could not begin to think she had cancer. As her mind drifted off her cell phone rang.
"Hello?" Her heart skipped a beat, hoping it was Jake.
"Hey, how are you?" He asked out of breath.
"Could be better. Why didn't you call me this morning?"
"Sorry, school got ahold of me today."
"Why are you out of breath?" Looking stunned she stared at her mother.
"I'm so sorry, he'll call back." Her mother gave Beth a hug.
The doctor came in, and greeted his self. "Hello. I'm Kevin Baker." He smiled while examining her breast.