“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37: 4

Walking around Nelson Mandela Park in Port of Spain, as is our wont in the early post-dawn morning hours, my partner Judy and I not only engage in important regular physical exercise and verbally ventilate issues important to us, but we also observe the behavior of those with whom we come into contact.

Normally, we peacefully exchange greetings as we walk past a happy looking football coaching clinic.

One morning, we observed an aggressive acrimonious verbal exchange between two of the coaches. I felt as though I had to intervene. I exclaimed “Love and compassion” three or four times. The response was: “It is not me; he is the one at fault … he has to show love and compassion.” We escaped without much further verbal intervention.

The next morning as we walked past, they took time to greet us as usual, but this time with the words “Love and compassion”. We felt that the intervention the day before had contributed to their happier state.

I recall as a scout, in school and in Sunday School, saying the Lord’s Prayer by rote. As I became more mature and reflected on the meaning of the prayer, the concept of “forgiveness” had an impact on me, in the context of a purpose-of-life contribution to happiness.

I have been a Rotarian for more than half my adult life and this practice of helping others, which is at the core of the Rotary spirit, has contributed greatly to happiness which may be described as a holistic feeling of well-being, joy and contentment.

Love, in its many forms, is a universal force. It goes beyond the romantic realm and encompasses the love we have for family, friends and even strangers. Love nurtures our souls and fosters connections that transcend boundaries. It is through love that we find fulfillment and meaning, creating a harmonious existence.

Compassion is a virtue that allows us to empathize with those who are less fortunate. It is through compassion that we recognize the struggles and hardships faced by others and extend a helping hand. As Caribbean citizens, we have a rich history of compassion, rooted in the fabric of our diverse cultures. It is this compassion that enables us to build a society that uplifts the marginalized and creates a more inclusive future.

Forgiveness, though challenging at times, is a transformative act. By forgiving others, we free ourselves from the burden of anger, resentment, and negativity. It is a reminder that we are all flawed beings who make mistakes. Forgiveness allows us to heal and move forward, fostering healthier relationships and promoting harmony within our communities.

Helping others is not merely a selfless act; it is also a way of appreciating the precious gift of time. In a world where time seems to slip away effortlessly, lending a helping hand to those in need becomes an act of gratitude. By giving our time and resources, we create a ripple effect of positivity, making a difference in the lives of others and finding purpose in our own.

Ultimately, the pursuit of happiness is an integral part of our journey. It goes beyond fleeting moments of pleasure and delves into the depths of our well-being. True happiness is an all-encompassing state of mind, where joy, contentment, and a sense of fulfillment intertwine. It is a holistic approach to life that embraces love, cultivates compassion, forgives, and extends a helping hand.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is basilgf@marketplaceexcellence.com. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com).