So, my buddy Joe sends me an email this morning, talking about happiness. And, he sends a link to a video. I'll link it here. At about the 12:00 mark it talks about Louisiana and the happiness index of its people. It turns out, Louisiana is a very happy place, but not for the reasons you might suspect.
Louisiana has its problems. Poor roads, a bad tax structure, Laughable government, yet we are ahppy, especially in the rural and poor communities. Why? Family and friends.
Belle and I decided seven years ago that we wanted out shop to be a place where family and friends could gather. To share a meal, to connect, to laugh and commiserate. It has a full kitchen and a half bath. It's a gathering spot. We "cook big" on Sunday and anyone is invited. We generally have between 6 and 15 people eating lunch on Sunday. We never know who is going to show up, and they never know the menu. My one caveat: If you don't like what we're cooking, Popeye's is just down the road.
As I think back, some of my happiest times were when I was dead-broke, raising kids. Someone wold call. "Hey, we are cooking crawfish. Bring something to throw in the pot and come on." or "I need some help. We're killing a hog. Tell your wife to make a salad, and come on." Louisiana knows how to party on the cheap.
Happiness isn't about possessions. It's about family and friends and community. It takes a little effort, but it's a choice. If you are not happy, make some changes. Make a big stew and invite some friends. Join and local church and get involved. Volunteer to help out a the high school concession stand. Learn to laugh. You can't be unhappy when you are laughing.