Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Thanksgiving 2022: What history can teach us about the recipe for happiness

thanks

When I was 10 years old, I remember walking into my father’s study on a Saturday afternoon. My father was the co-founder and president of the Sheraton Hotel chain, and at this moment, he was at his desk, surrounded by papers and ledgers and books. 

 “Daddy,” I asked, “How come you’re working? It’s the weekend!” 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“I’m reading through charitable requests,” he answered, looking up from a letter he was reading. “I’d rather be doing this than anything else.” What followed were the words that influenced me for the rest of my life: “The greatest pleasure my money has ever given me is in giving it away.” 

MEET THE AMERICAN WHO GAVE THE NATION OUR THANKSGIVING ORIGIN STORY: PILGRIM EDWARD WINSLOW

The act of giving created meaning in his life. He got to experience the joy of knowing that in his own small way, he was making the world a better place. He was grateful that he could do this. It was then I began to truly understand how generosity and gratitude lead people to greater happiness.

The lesson I witnessed in my father rings true across time, culture, and fame. Consider Napoleon Bonaparte and Mother Teresa: how did their graciousness, or lack thereof, affect their lives— and what can we take from their experiences to bring greater happiness to our own?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

A little more than 200 years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte ruled an empire that spanned France and a large part of Europe. As Emperor, he had glory, power, riches, and status to a degree that is almost inconceivable. This is a man whom you’d think had it all.  

Mother Teresa’s life was the opposite. Because of her vow of poverty, her physical possessions consisted of three cotton saris and the sandals on her feet. She ate the same food the poor ate. As for glamour, she spent most of her life ministering to the poorest of the poor. A large part of her work was taking care of dying lepers.  

SAINT TERESA OF CALCUTTA: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE HEROIC CATHOLIC NUN, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE RECIPIENT

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Here’s a man who had all the money, power, fame, status and glory that the world has to offer, and a humble woman who committed to a life of poverty, unselfishly caring for others. So which of these two had happier lives?  

November 1960: Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997), the Albanian nun who dedicated her life to the poor, the destitute and the sick of Calcutta, earning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. 

Well, Napoleon said that in his entire life, he couldn’t count five consecutive happy days.  

Mother Teresa, on the other hand, described her life as “a feast of unending joy.”  

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

You may wonder how this could be the case. How could someone who has the riches of the world be so miserable, while another who sacrificed so much is so joyful? 

FILE – A portrait of Mother Teresa is pictured behind a crucifix, during a holy Mass dedicated to her on the main square in Skopje, Macedonia, Sunday, Sept 11, 2016. Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at the main square in Macedonian capital Skopje for a ceremony of gratitude dedicated to Mother Teresa who Pope Francis has declared a saint last week in Vatican.

But there is a crucial difference between these two. Everything that Napoleon had he got by taking. Everything Mother Teresa had— love, approval, fame—she earned by giving. 

This Thanksgiving weekend, we can all take a lesson from Napoleon and Mother Teresa—and even from my father.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Let’s aim ­for a life that’s a feast of unending joy! The more we’re busy feeling thankful, the less room we have for feeling down. 

This Thanksgiving, as families come together to share bountiful home-cooked meals, giving back may be the most surefire way to feel satisfied this holiday season. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MITZI PERDUE

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

News

Laura Ingraham warns how the government will run out of money in December and how many Republicans are comfortable caving to Democrats on major...

News

On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” White House NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said he doesn’t think...

News

The baguette’s creation is the source of many urban legends: Napoleon’s bakers supposedly created it as a lighter and more portable loaf for the...

News

Good morning. It’s Thursday. We’ll look at batteries that power e-bikes and scooters — and the risks that fire officials say they pose. We’ll...

Advertisement