"The secret of happiness? Be Satisfied. Be grateful. For what you have. For the love you received. And for what God has given you. That's it."
- Albert Lewis from Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
My Bible study leader gave me this book for my birthday and I am grateful. I've read this book not knowing about how the content will affect me but with a small knowledge that it's about faith (title said it so.) Now, I'm devouring every page and marked it by dog ears. I know how people hate to fold corners of their book but I have no time to get a book mark or a paper to mark my favorite lines. I don't mind high-lighting them but my pen is out of reach.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines and conversations...
“Look, if you say that science will eventually prove there is no God, on that I must differ. No matter how small they take it back, to a tadpole, to an atom, there is always something they can’t explain, something that created it all at the end of the search.
“And no matter how far they try to go the other way – to extend life, play around with the genes, clone this, clone that, live to one hundred and fifty – at some point, life is over. And then what happens? When the life comes to an end?”
He leaned back. He smiled.
“When you come to the end, that’s where God begins.”
“No. You can't work your way into heaven. Anytime you try and justify yourself with works, you disqualify yourself with works. What I do here, every day, for the rest of my life, is only my way of saying, 'Lord, regardless of what eternity holds for me, let me give something back to you. I know it doesn't even no scorecard. But let me make something of my life before I go.. and then, Lord, I'm at your mercy.”
"My friends, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. Our words will always be sincere, our embraces tight. We will never wallow in agony of 'I could have, I should have.' We can sleep in a storm.
"And when it's time, our good-byes will be complete."
“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.”
“When a baby comes into the world, its hands are clenched, right? Like this?" He made a fist. "Why? Because a baby not knowing any better, wants to grab everything, to say the whole world is mine. But when an old person dies, how does he do so? With his hands open. Why? Because he has learned his lesson." "What lesson?" I asked. He stretched open his empty fingers. "We can take nothing with us.”
“A little girl came home from school with a drawing she'd made in class.She danced into the kitchen ,where her mother was preparing dinner.
"Mom,guess what ?" she squealed waving the drawing .
her mother never looked up.
"what"? she said ,tending to the pots.
"guess what?" the child repeated ,waving the drawings.
"what?" the mother said , tending to the plates.
"Mom, you're not listening"
"sweetie,yes I am"
"Mom" the child said "you're not listening with your EYES”
“Are you seeing anyone romantically?" he inquired.
"No, I'm not," she replied.
"Good. Please keep it that way. Because I intend to ask you to marry me.”
Can you predict which marriages will survive? I asked. "Sometimes," he said. "If they're communicating well, they have a good chance. If they have a similar belief system, similar values, they have a good chance."
What about love?
"Love they should always have. But love changes."
What do you mean?
"Love-the infatuation kind - 'he's so handsome, she's so beautiful'-that can shrivel. As soon as something goes wrong, that kind of love can fly out the window. On the other hand, a true love can enrich itself. It gets tested and grows stronger. Like in Fiddler on the Roof. You remember? When Tevye sings 'Do You Love Me?'? When she says, 'How can you ask if I love you? Loot at all I've done with you. What else would you call it?' That kind of love-the kind you realize you already have by the life you've created together-that's the kind that lasts."
"Like Sarah says, twenty good minutes here, forty good minutes there, it adds up to something beautiful. The trick is when things aren't so great, you don't junk the whole thing. It's okay to have an argument. It's okay that the other one nudges you a little, bothers you a little. It's part of being close to someone. But the joy you get from that same closeness-when you watch your children, when you wake up and smile at each other-that, as our tradition teaches us, is a blessing. People forget that."
Why do they forget it?
"Because the word 'commitment' has lost its meaning. I'm old enough to remember when it used to be a positive. A committed person was someone to be admired. He was loyal and steady. Now a commitment is something you avoid. You don't want to tie yourself down. It's the same with faith, by the way. We don't want to get stuck having to go to services all the time, or having to follow all the rules. We don't want to commit to God. We'll take Him when we need Him, or when things are going good. But real commitment? That requires staying power-in faith and in marriage."
And if you don't commit? I asked.
"Your choice. But you miss what's on the other side."
What's on the other side?
"Ah." He smiled. "A happiness you cannot find alone."
More coming up after I finish the book. I'm just reposting some of the quotes I have read from the book from goodreads.com
“I think people expect too much from marriage today,' he said. 'They expect perfection. Every moment should be bliss. That's TV or movies. But that is not the human experience.
. . . twenty good minutes here, forty good minutes there, it adds up to something beautiful. The trick is when things aren't so great, you don't junk the whole thing. It's okay to have an argument. It's okay that the other one nudges you a little, bothers you a little. It's part of being close to someone.
But the joy you get from that same closeness--when you watch your children, when you wake up and smile at each other--that . . . is a blessing. People forget that.”
“So, have we solved the secret of happiness?
"I believe so," he said
Are you going to tell me?
"For what you have.For the love you receive.And for what God has given you."
He looked me in the eye.Then he sighed deeply.