Purim is just around the corner. We get into the excitement by discussing costumes, who the children will visit, and what we will buy to assemble for mishloach manos. I think we need to carry this theme of happiness and excitement all year long. We are all seeking happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction. I heard it said best from the Reader’s Digest years ago: “The city of happiness is in the state of mind.” We may not have everything we want or need, but we can choose to see it through a happy lens. I once heard the story of a rising college football star, who at the age of 16 years old was falsely accused and convicted of wrongdoing. Believing that the odds were not in his favor and fearing a life sentence, he chose to accept a plea deal of five years in federal jail and five years of probation. When he eventually got out of jail, he was able to clear his name by having an attorney from the Innocence Project set up an undercover meeting with the accuser, who admitted to having falsely accused him all those years ago. When asked how he overcame his anger after enduring so much pain as an innocent person, he said that a person might not be able to control others, but you can control how you internalize it, what you make of it in you, and how you process your next steps. I think this can be a great lesson for all of us. Yes, you can always blame someone else for your lack of success, for not having what you need, or for your childhood. But as someone once said, the day you stop feeling bad for yourself is the first day of the rest of your life.
Let us enjoy Purim and every day of the year.