Let me tell you about my grandmother. She wasn’t, by prevalent standards, the most beautiful or intelligent woman. She didn’t have a huge list of extraordinary achievements to brag about. She wasn’t rich either, but I remember her being happy, genuinely happy. And through this state of happiness she irradiated tremendous beauty, intelligence, and a sense of achievement.
I was able to spend some quality time with her, late in her life, and I learned a lot when we went on a family vacation. By then, she had already experienced the death of two of her four children: my mother and one of my uncles, perhaps the greatest of all pains for any parent.
In my memory, I can still picture her happily on the beach, swinging on a hammock, in the middle of the palm trees, facing the ocean, watching the sun going down, and telling me how happy she was with her life, how content she was with what she had achieved, and how satisfied she was with everything life had given her.
At that stage of her life, she was constantly expressing how grateful she was for living. For her, everything was wonderful, always. She appreciated all things that came her way. She didn’t complain about a single thing.
That time together revealed a grandma that I had not known before. I came to know her as one of the most beautiful, wise and accomplished women I ever knew… a different kind of beauty, a different kind of intelligence, a different kind of success.
Maybe she wasn’t successful by the usual standards, but for me she was incredibly triumphant. I learned from her that true success is to be happy, content and satisfied, and that once we get there, we will have no desire to be anywhere else. We will have reached our destination.
“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it; Who has left the world better than he found it, Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; Whose life was an inspiration; Whose memory a benediction.” ~ Bessie Anderson Stanley
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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”