Our culture is getting better. We are increasingly aware that money, homes, cars, jewelry, multiple choices of cereal and designer goods do not bring us happiness. Or, it might be fleeting but not lasting happiness.
So how do we create and maintain “The Big H”? Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s wise counsel was in one word: friendship. It is our friendships, our sincere connections to people, which bring meaning, joy, and yes, “The Big H,” into our lives.
Said Mrs. Browning, the poet, to Charles Kingsley, the writer;
“What is the secret of your happiness? Tell me, that I may enjoy the same.”
Thinking a moment, the kindly old man replied, “I have a friend.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a popular poet of the Victorian era. Her best-known poem opens “How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways,” written to her husband, the poet Robert Browning. Charles Kingsley was a clergyman, professor and writer, author of the children’s classic, The Water-Babies.