It was Josh’s birthday, and he had turned 16 years old. Everyone said he was a “young man” now, ready to take on the world. And he guessed they were right, since he now had his own driving license and his own room.
They said that they believed in him and knew that he would make his dreams come true. That he would grow up to be a “happy man”.
He hoped that they were right.
He sat on his bed and started to think about things. Things that made him happy. Things that mattered the most.
“What’s wrong son?” his dad asked him as he entered the room.
“Dad, I’m afraid.” he said.
“Well, everyone says that I should grow up to be “a happy man”. And I really want to be one too. But, I just don’t know where to start.”
His dad smiled.
“Hold on son, I’ll be right back.” he said.
Minutes later, he returned to the room with something in his hand.
“Look at this son”, he said.
Josh looked up and saw a small lock, lying on the palm of his father’s hand.
“What’s this for Dad”, he asked, puzzled.
“This is a secret that I am going to share with you. A secret that everyone wants to know. A secret that you must always remember. The secret to happiness.”
Josh was still confused.
His dad closed the lock and gave it to him.
“Open it son”, he said.
“But Dad, where is the key?” he asked.
“Exactly. There’s no way to open the lock unless I give you the key. And that my son is the very essence of this secret.”
Josh looked up in surprise. His Dad continued to explain.
“Life is a journey of ups and downs son. And while you’re travelling, you will come across many types of people. Who you meet is a matter of chance, and there isn’t much you can do about it. But, you get to choose whether they will stay or not.
You see, your heart is surrounded by a giant lock, which protects all your feelings. And nothing can change them, unless you decide to give someone the key.
If you decide not to give it to anyone, you will end up feeling lonely.
If you decide to give it to everyone, you will end up feeling threatened.
But if you decide wisely, and give the key only to those that matter to you, you will always be happy.
And that my son, is the secret.”
Josh looked at him with awe. He had finally discovered how to be happy. He was no longer afraid.
He held the little key and said,
“I promise I won’t make too many copies of this Dad.”
“And I know that you will grow up to be a happy man my son”, his Dad replied with a smile on his face.
Being happy doesn’t just happen by chance. It’s actually a matter of choice. A decision to wait. To wait for somebody who is right. Somebody who cares enough to open the lock. Somebody whom we can trust. Somebody to whom we can give the key. The key that allows them to make a difference. To become a reason which adds to that amazing feeling. The amazing feeling called happiness.