The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Thankfulness and happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. In a little over one week Thanksgiving will be here. I can remember many a time, in years past, when we were satisfied to complete fall harvest by Thanksgiving and oft times to finish on the day of Thanksgiving.

I remember my father-in-law tell'n of farming with his father-in-law back in the 30's. They picked corn by hand in those days and it happened to be a year of drought. The last day of harvest, as they finishing putting in the last scoopful of corn into the crib, the senior farmer turned to the younger farmer and stated, "You can't call this a crop failure" as he gazed over a small pile of corn in one end of the crib. There's enough corn in that pile to feed the milk cows until next season and fatten a few hogs for our family. The chickens will be fed, eggs gathered and taken to town along with cream, butter, and milk for trade'n for grocery staples and the garden was adequate and put in such a manner as to be adequate to carry us thru". Dresses were made of used feed sacks and clothing was patched over patch. Even with all of that, and no government help, there was much they were thankful for, in their minds.

I reckon, for sure, we have much to be thankful for as well. Dwell on it a spell and unless our mind is buried in negativism, I'm sure you'll agree. And besides, if'n you can't be thankful for what you have, be thankful for what you have escaped.

Happiness and thankfulness oft times go together. But what is happiness of a rational creature? One might answer that question in the following definition. Happiness is achieved in having a sound mind and a healthy body, a sufficiency of the necessaries and conveniences of life, together with the favor of God, and the love of mankind.

Ben Franklin wrote, "He who cannot be happy in any state, can be so in no state". When Joseph Kennedy, the wealthy founder of the Kennedy dynasty, was once asked what it was he really wanted he paused for a moment. Kennedy then replied, "Everything".

Was he happy? Perhaps. But as Ben Franklin wrote in his 1775 almanac, "Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances". Philosophers have always said that happiness depends on contentment, but they haven't told us how to be content. One simple rule might be: "To be content, look backward on those who possess less than yourself, not forward on those who possess more. If'n this does not make you content, you don't deserve to be happy.

The distinction between needs and wants seems mostly lost in our affluent, advertising-driven society. Television, radio, and print ads assure us that we will be happier, handsomer, and more fulfilled as soon as we acquire the latest model car, the newest antiwrinkle cream, or a complete digital entertainment system.

Cornelius was at the market one day, closely examining the many goods for sale. I asked him why he came to the market at all, since he never purchased anything. Cornelius replied, "I am always amazed to see how many things there are that I don't need".

It is said that the way to catch a monkey in the jungle is to drill a hole in a dried coconut and put some rice inside. Upon finding the coconut, the monkey will stick its hand inside and unwilling to let go of its prize, the monkey will hang on, trapped, and can be easily captured. Sometimes we are similarly ensnared by material things.

In 1985, Elizabeth Dole was appointed secretary of transportation by President Ronald Reagan. Her husband, Bob Dole, was a powerful member of the U. S. Senate. To show happiness and togetherness a magazine ran a photo that showed the couple making their bed together which prompted a man to write to Senator Dole. He complained that the senator had to stop doing housework, because he was making it hard for men across the country.

"You don't know the half of it" Dole wrote back to the man. "The only reason she was helping was because they were taking pictures."

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving time with your family. And, keep on smile'n.

Catch ya Later

Barnyard Bruke