We get a lot of unsolicited calls at our door in this little village. If it’s not a delivery of something we have ordered, it is inevitably a request for money or a workman offering to give us a price to pressure-wash our drive or roof, or do work on our garden.
Yesterday, when my husband answered the doorbell he was met by a well-dressed woman, probably in her mid-sixties, who spoke with a mid-west American accent. She was carrying several bibles. I was on my way out to the garden and so by chance was standing in the entrance hall. The conversation went something like “Good morning, Sir. It is a lovely morning, isn’t it? I was wondering: have you ever thought about what makes you happy?”
I let out a noise which can probably best be described as something between a cough and a snort. My husband paused, and then said in a not-unlikely but firm voice “Go away. Just go away.” She smiled, replied “”All right. Have a good day” and left.
I have been wondering what I would have said had I been the prime
combatant – err, I mean conversationalist – at the door. I would have been tempted to ask how anyone can sell happiness as a payment for Christian belief in a crucified Saviour. Or I might have mentioned the quote from Aristotle taught to us as children by my father who said that happiness is a by-product, not something that can be acquired by going after it directly. Or if I was really going to take her on, I might have mentioned that I was a psychologist, and thinking about what makes people happy is something I have done all my professional life.
Come to think of it, I think it was a good thing I wasn’t the one who answered the door.
What do you think? What would you have said: Have you ever thought about what makes you happy?