82. “Oink?” by Margie Palatini


Thomas and Joseph were the perfect pigs. They were sloppy, lazy and very happy about it. Unfortunately, their neighbors didn’t agree with the pigs’ way of living. How can they be happy without a freshly painted fence? Hens wondered. Rabbit couldn’t believe in happiness without a green diet of carrots and lettuce, and Duck found a daily swim a crucial element of happy. At first the intervention team tried just to guide and motivate the pigs to make improvements, but since Joseph and Thomas did it the pig-way, the neighbors had to take charge. In the end, the Hens painted their fence, Rabbit picked fresh vegetables and Duck dug out a water hole.  The hard workers were as tired as proud of themselves and the pigs… were happily rolling in the mud again.

How many times has someone told you that you would be happier, healthier, or more successful  doing things their way? Somehow, people always know us better than we do. My mom always saw a medical career ahead of me (her own unfulfilled dream), my meat-loving husband feels sorry for me missing out on juicy steak, and my friends claim that living far from my roots makes me homesick.  Isn’t it a unique human trait, to measure others with our own measuring cups? I realize it is very difficult to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, can’t we try just  a bit harder? There are so many ways to happiness and the best one is our own.

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