Sunday Inspiration: The Small, Happy Life

the small, happy life

One of life’s great challenges is how to find your own special gift and then share that gift with others.

In a column last week David Brooks wrote about “The Small, Happy Life.”  He asked readers to send essays on what their purpose for living was and how they had discovered it.

To Brooks’ surprise, he learned that many people did not have grand, earth-shaking expectations  but simply wanted to live the small, happy life. They wanted to enjoy life and appreciate their blessings.

Late in life a doctor moved from wanting to save patients’ lives to being present for those who needed her, listening to their concerns and responding with compassion. Another reader said, “I have always admired these goal-oriented, successful, stubborn, determined individuals; they make things happen and the world would be lost without them.” But his own life has revolved around a “small-font purpose,” enjoying his family, friends and job and the everyday satisfaction of being alive.

I do believe the quote on this photo, wherever you are and in whatever you are doing, whether you’re the president or the hardworking street cleaner. Find your gift. Give it away. And what a joy to do so.

What is your purpose, and how do you live it out? Are you living the small, happy life? Has it brought you meaning?

**Today’s post was written by Reverend Michael McGee, Emilie’s husband.


  1. Marna on May 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Definitely the small, happy life for me. No Grand Purpose I have yet discerned, other than happy family, healthy and happy kids, giving what I can to make the world a better place, and reading a good book now and then.

  2. Lynn Ross on June 19, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    I liked this, Michael! Thank you for sharing. When I was a teenager, I thought I had a grand purpose in life. However, I allowed myself to become bogged down by life, and I never found that grand purpose. There was a time in my middle years that I despaired that I never found that grandiose purpose. Now, heading toward the evening of my life, I would say my purpose is, and perhaps always was, to love. With love comes the desire to help where we can, and I have been doing that all along. 🙂

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