This is the script of my Pause For Thought on BBC Radio 2 on September 1st, 2023... the theme was "Things That Make Me Happy"
“Things That Make Me Happy”. That’s a question I thought. Obviously walking Ballycastle beach with my wife Janice and our dog Jed as we have been doing for the last three weeks…” Holiday happy.
But what else? You see I am suspicious of happy. It is at the mercy of happenings. Pretty fragile. I prefer a deep contentedness not matter what.
BUT… I started thinking. Sport makes me happy. The World Athletic Championships had me crying me lugs out in pure happiness as Katarina Johnston-Thompson, Josh Kerr and Ben Pattison fulfilled dreams..
AND then… I remembered watching those English Lionesses, Chloe Kelly and Alex Greenwood, get between the intrusive TV cameras and a very upset Chiamaka Nnadozie the Nigerian goalkeeper that they had just defeated in a penalty shoot out. Standing up for the opposition when they could have been celebrating. I had a happy buzz.
Then my daughter Caitlin told us about being on the bus where the bus driver stopped the bus to go and help a homeless person. Wow. Another happiness buzz. I wouldn’t mind my bus being late for that.
And speaking of daughters and buses. A few Friday night’s ago, my other daughter Jasmine was in London on a bus with her friend Hannah. They noticed a girl who seemed very upset and moved over to stand by her and help her. They got her off the bus and waited until her boyfriend picked her up. After I knew that Jasmine and Hannah were safe… and after a little pride… I felt so happy.
What made Jasmine unhappy was that no one else came to the girl’s aid.
So as I heard about these incidents during the time I waited to do this Pause For Thought I learned something about myself. People who do something to help those who need someone to stand by them, particularly when they have no obligation to. That makes me happy in my soul.
It reminded me of that story Jesus told about a man who had been mugged and left at the side of the road. After the religious passers by had ignored the man, someone of another race and religion stopped and helped. The Good Samaritan he is known as.
And it is the actions of Good Samaritans I have learned that make me happy. And I would suggest even more than happy, but deep contented too.