A funny story tells about three high school seniors who went to New York for their senior trip. When they arrived in the city, they went immediately to one of the finest hotels and registered for a room. They were assigned a room on the 30th floor.
After settling in, they decided to go see the sights. They toured Manhattan, the Empire State Building, Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty. They finally returned to their hotel utterly exhausted.
When they asked the desk clerk for the key to their room, he said, “I am sorry, the elevators are not running.” He told them that they could either wait or use the stairway. The thought of a soft bed was irresistible, so they decided to climb the stairs – all thirty stories.
One of the boys had an idea. “On the way up, each of us will tell the funniest story we know for ten flights of stairs,” he suggested. The other two agreed and started to climb. When they reached the tenth floor, they were still going strong. By the twentieth floor, their legs were rubber and they panted for breath. The steps grew harder to climb and the one whose turn it was to tell a funny story said, “I’m sorry, I’m just too tired to talk.”
They trudged on in silence. When they reached the 29th floor, one of them began to laugh. He sat down on the steps and laughed hysterically. Finally, he said to his amazed companions, “I just thought of the funniest thing ever. And it happens to be true!”
“What is it?” they asked.
“We left the key in the lobby.”
Many people feel as if they have lost the key to getting what they want in life – meaning, happiness, success, peace, security. They have been trudging and toiling at length but feel as if they are locked out of that place they really want to be. They think, “If only I had the key to a whole and happy life.”
That wise and amazing woman Eleanor Roosevelt gave three keys to meaning, happiness, success and peace.
- She said to do whatever comes your way as well as you can. She knew that the key to satisfaction in life is to take pride in whatever you’re given to do, regardless how grand or humble the undertaking.
- Another key is to think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people, and also about things that are interesting. Eleanor Roosevelt knew that those who take a genuine interest in the concerns of others and in great ideas lose their desire to worry needlessly about themselves.
- The third is that, since people receive more joy back when they give joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give. She was aware that the key to finding happiness is in giving happiness – wherever and whenever possible.
These are three keys that should neither be lost nor locked away in a safe place. Learn to use them – every day – and you’ll open doors to those important and wonderful things that will make your life worth living.
-- Steve Goodier