“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”
— Henry Van Dyke
I’ve written here before about my friend Maggie and her family, and the happy memories I have of them that go back forty years — it’s hard for me to believe we first met in 1974! Obviously, there’s a lot I love about her, but if I had to name one defining trait that sets her apart, it’s her ability to maintain and radiate a genuinely cheerful attitude.
As one might imagine, those years have given me countless opportunities to see Maggie in all kinds of situations. Like all of us, she has faced her share of challenging circumstances, but I can’t remember a time when she was not able to muster a sense of humor about whatever was going on. She’s quite practical and realistic, so her congeniality isn’t based on delusion or denial. I think she simply discovered long ago that a sincere smile or a hearty laugh can go a long way toward improving almost any scenario.
Her upbeat demeanor is never more valuable than when she is helping others who are having some sort of difficulty, which is doubtless responsible for a good measure of her considerable professional success. Because she’s keenly sensitive, she knows when to “weep with those who weep, and laugh with those who laugh.” But it seems that no matter what I’m facing, I end up feeling like laughing when I’ve spent some time with Maggie.
Being with such people is a sure way to defeat despair, so I hope you have at least one or two in your life who shine as brightly as Maggie shines in mine. I also hope we can learn from them how to reflect and spread such cheerfulness. The world can always use more of that kind of charm.
One year ago today: