Hello my dear friend,

I received this story in an email a week ago and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. It is a beautiful story, and it brings tears to my eyes thinking about sharing it with you.

The email is from Ann VosKamp and the title is, “Don’t Miss The Best (Honking) Secret to Happiness When Things Are Hard.” She says this is a true story.

“A man drove a stretch of highway past this tattered cardboard sign that read: “HONK IF YOU ARE HAPPY.” And who doesn’t roll his eyes at such naivete? As if the world is this strange hybrid of Pollyanna and Sesame Street – If you’re happy and you know it- HONK HONK?!

But there’s this one day when he drives past the sign with his little girl, and on a whim he honks his horn. And every day when he passes the sign, his daughter begs him to do it again, and pretty soon, every time he’s on this stretch of highway, this man is anticipating the sign. Anticipating honking his horn, this was his thought… I feel a little happier than I had before, as if honking the horn made me happier.

If on a one-to-ten scale, I was feeling an emotional two, when I honked the horn, my happiness grew several points. In time, when I turned on to Hwy 544, I noticed that my emotional set point would begin to rise. That entire 13.4 mile stretch began to become a place of emotional rejuvenation for me.

This man wants to find out who put up the sign. He finds a house on the other side of the trees that line the highway – and he goes up to the door and asks the folks if they know anything about the happy sign?

The man at the door welcomes him in and says yes, yes he made the sign.

This is why he made the sign: Everyday he was sitting in his house, in a darkened bedroom with his young wife who was terminally ill, sitting there watching her as she lay there waiting to die.

One day when he really could not take it anymore, he painted up that sign and stuck it out by the road. Because, he said, “I just wanted the people in their cars not to take this moment for granted. This special, never-again-to-be-repeated moment with the ones they care for most should be savored and they should be aware of the happiness in the moment.”

At first, after he put out the sign, there was only a honk here and there. His dying wife asked what that was about and the husband explained how he’d put the sign out there. After a few days there was more honking and more… And the husband said that the honking became like medicine to her. As she lay there, she heard the horns and found great comfort in knowing that she was not isolated in a dark room dying. She was part of the happiness of the world. It was literally all around her!”

There is happiness in this world, literally all around us! Maybe we need to start honking our horns. We never know how far and how many lives will be touched by one small act of kindness.

At the end of the email was this amazing quote, which is definitely my favorite for this week, and it might win for favorite quote of the year.

“Being joyful isn’t what makes you grateful. Being grateful is what makes you joyful.”

This year has been very interesting and continues to go down that path. But there is still something that I can be grateful for every day. A lot I get from each of you being a part of my life. So today I am grateful for all the wonderful people who are in my circle. Thanks to each and every one of you!

Much love and so much gratitude!


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