Why Happiness is Hiding From You

A few years ago (OK, maybe like 10!), my family gathered around a large cheese pizza and I overheard a conversation between our son Clayton and his friend Brandon. "It's hard to make flamingo's happy," Brandon sighed with resignation. "I know," consoled Clayton.

"What?" I asked. "How do you boys know about the emotional state of flamingos?!"

Brandon began to explain how his computer game called Zoo Tycoon gave him the opportunity to create natural habitats for animals. He ticked off a quick list of the animals that were easy to satisfy because their habitat needs were not very complex. "See, Mom," Clayton interrupted, "I told you computer games were educational!"

Brandon continued, "But, flamingos never are satisfied with their habitat."

At this point, my curiosity was peaked so I asked them to describe the habitat that the persnickety prima-dona of all birds required. The guys talked about the balance between salt and fresh water. They described the exact amounts of sand and savannah grass that the flamingos wanted.

I must admit, they did know a whole lot more about flamingos than I did! When I think of flamingos, they're usually hot pink and plastic and sticking out of a summer drink or planted in someone's yard!

They continued to reason and formulate about how they could make those flamingos happy as I sunk my teeth into my cheese pizza.

I remember thinking how the flamingos sounds a lot like some of us. You see, there are a lot of us who aren't happy. If life doesn't present just the right balance, or if our habitat is below our standards, we tend to turn our nose up and frown. Lots of us are as complicated as our feathered friends.

We seem to think our happiness lies within our habitat.

[Read the rest of the article at JenniferRothschild.com.]