Someone asked, if I had to choose one, whether I’d rather be loved or respected. That’s an easy one. Back when Lidge and I were working for the railroad, everyone respected ol’ Mr. Crocker; about the same way you’d respect a coiled rattler! Given an opportunity, we stayed clean out of reach; but when ol’ Crocker was nose to nose with ya, puffed up like an adder who was just fixin’ to strike, he had our earnest interest and our undivided attention; but we’d of liked to knock him senseless with a rock!
Uncle Mark on the other hand, had our affection. When Unk needed anything, he’d ask us one time, quiet like and gentle, and we done it or died tryin’! Respect is fine, and I’ve tried my best to earn it, but I couldn’t go a day without affection. One picture’s worth a thousand words, but a hug expresses volumes.
Most of us pursue happiness through an all consuming quest to attain one thing that others will covet. That’s our nature, inherent in our robes of flesh. We seek validation through what we have, to justify who we are. That one thing may be a grandiose house, a pretentious spouse, or all variety of shiny, superfluous possessions. Failing in this pursuit, our happiness remains elusive. Even when we’re successful, our satisfaction is generally fleeting. If your goal is happiness, make that one thing an optimistic attitude. Invest in a winning attitude, and earn dividends with every smile. If you can develop an attitude that others will admire, success is certain and happiness guaranteed.
Am I happy? Why, I’m happy as a bug on the bow of a boat! Have ya ever watched a grasshopper at the bow of a boat, when the ol’ steamer is churning along at a good clip, the hull is pounding the cobalt blue water into a fine spray and the shore is sailing by; and that ol’ grasshopper is clinging to the railing for dear life, his little antennae are trailing in the wind, his molars are all catching sunlight, his eyes are glazed over and glistening in grateful satisfaction, and the tobacco juice is streaming out the corners of his mouth and collecting in his whiskers and his ears? Now that’s happy! “Obie’s Quest”