I had a conversation with my son in which I asked him if he was happy.  Without hesitation, he answered, “I’m extremely happy.  I am free to do what I want, when I want it.  My life is just good.”  I pondered that answer, and felt some envy at his sense of freedom.  I, by contrast, do not feel free.  I feel weighed down by “stuff,” responsibilities, my job and limited finances.  So I put that question to a couple of friends: What is happiness, and what is freedom?  The answers came rapidly and authentically: Happiness is the state of accepting what one has with gratitude.  Freedom is a bit trickier.

On gratitude, I can easily echo the sentiment.  I have, indeed, many, many things to be grateful for, not the least of which is my health, and my living environment which is a sunny locale, warm and comfortable.  And once I begin to focus on what I am grateful for, from the most minuscule to the grand, I indeed feel happy and blessed and lucky and proud of myself.