Wednesday Quotes
A Happy Thought
June 11, 2014

JosiewithBunny - Copy1 - Copy

The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.
Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses

In my edition of A Child’s Garden of Verses, the illustration next to this short poem titled ‘Happy Thought’ is a cheery scene of children on a bright sunny day. Fresh fruits, kittens, flowers, a singing bird, and the rippling water of a lake.

Is the world only ‘so full’ for children, for whom  and about whom ostensibly this poem is written? Perhaps the fullness that children experience is fundamentally a matter of inexperience, of not seeing things as clearly as adults do? So does clearer vision reveal that things are not as good as we thought?

Clearer vision does in fact reveal that ‘things’—in the sense of the amazing natural accoutrements of the world—are not themselves happiness-producing. Yet at the same time the child-like conviction that a world so furnished can and should be a happy place seems to embody a wisdom that we adults often lack.

The world really is full of a number of things. And they are a sure sign that we can, and even should be, as happy as kings.

R.L Stevenson (1850-1894) is the great Scottish author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped and other classics.

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  1. I believe Mother Theresa was happy as a king serving children in the gutters of Calcutta. Of central import is the thinking that we tie to ‘happiness’. Children are happy to tie little thinking to the conception, I think, and are thus happier for it.

  2. Loved this post….keep up the great writing and blogging, John!

    Blessing and prayers through St.Barnabas to you and Sophia and your great brood, Miki and Tim

    1. Thank you very much Miki and Tim. Love to all of you too.

  3. What a wonderful memory you’ve brought up! This is one of my favorite “comments” – quoting, of course, this poem. My book too shows a similar picture to what yours must – and I do NOT think this needs to pertain only to children! Thank you for these delightful little insights in to daily life, Dr. Cuddeback
    Ginger Hand