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Uncle Earl

by Vicki Miller

"Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity." Joseph Addison, The Spectator

Annually my husband's family has a reunion in a state park in the mountains of North Carolina. At one of the reunions, the weather was overcast, and more rain was predicted. The family members who arrived early to set up were concerned about the pending rain and the impact it would have on attendance. Just as the rain began to fall, a car pulled up to the picnic shelter and out of the passenger side popped 'Uncle Earl'! Now, 'Uncle Earl', as he is called by the family, is 96 years old and has been blind for many years. Just the arrival of Uncle Earl immediately changed the morale of the group.

Ever cheerful and optimistic, Earl continues to amaze the family. He is the oldest member of the Miller Clan, and all gathered around him. One by one he addressed each member, held their hand, gave them a piece of candy from his pocket, and made them laugh.

As I stood back, I watched how his demeanor and cheerfulness brought a smile to everyone's face. He did not spend time telling everyone about his ailments as others were doing. I realized that it was his choice to take the "high road" of cheerfulness and not focus on the negative aspects of his life. By doing so, he was extending an invitation to each family member to respond in the same manner.

Just before we began to feast on the wonderful spread of food, Earl stood up and asked to speak to the group for few minutes. He asked everyone to lead a 'good life' and to take a lighthearted approach to what may come our way. He said he had prayed for us all to arrive and to return home safely, so we need not worry about the rain. Then he gave us all his blessing. I know I felt blessed to be with him!

Being of good cheer raises our spirits and benefits our health. Uncle Earl is a prime example. What is happening in your life right now? Are you taking a cheerful or lighthearted approach to your day? If you changed your perspective, what impact would it have on your health and others around you?

Just for one day practice being cheerful and see what happens. Try a new slant on challenges that may surface; see if you can find some humor in the challenge or view it from a light-hearted approach.

Be of good cheer!

See Also:

It is Your Life
You decide what you're going to do with it. If you don't run your own life, someone else will.

Beware of Garbage Trucks
How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important.

If It Doesn't Destroy You, It Will Make You Stronger
As you move through life, you meet problems of all shapes and sizes. Some are hardly worth mentioning; while others are life-threatening or earth-shattering. Yet, they all have one thing in common.

Are You Running Your Life or is it Running You? How are you spending your time and energy?
There has been a great deal written on the concept of time management. The simple fact is that each of us has the same 24 hours a day. We cannot create more time. What we can do is manage our energy and our thoughts to change how we experience time and make considered choices on how we are spending our time.

Life Is A Gift
Inspirational Thoughts.

More Inspirational Articles

About the Author:

Vicki Miller is a Life Coach and founder of the Direct Selling Leadership Center. Check out her website at:  or feel free to email her at:

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