Happiness is like a pebble1 dropped into a pool to set in motion an ever-widening circle of ripples2. As Stevenson has said, "Being happy is a duty."

There is no exact definition of the word happiness. Happy people are happy for all sorts of reasons. The key is not wealth of physical well-being, since we find beggars, invalids and so-called failures who are extremely happy.

Being happy is a sort of unexpected dividend. But staying happy is an accomplishment, a triumph of soul and character. It is not selfish to strive for it. It is, indeed, a duty to ourselves and others.

Being unhappy is like an infectious disease. It causes people to shrink away from the sufferer. He soon finds himself alone, miserable and embittered. There is, however, a cure so simple as to seem, at first glance, ridiculous: if you don’t feel happy, pretend to be!

It works. Before long you will find that instead of repelling3 people, you attract them. You discover how deeply rewarding it is to be the center of a wider and wider circles of good will.

Then the make-believe becomes a reality. You possess the secret peace of mind, and can forget yourself in being of service to others.

Being happy, once it is realized as a duty and established as a habit, opens doors into unimaginable gardens thronged with grateful friends.