When it comes to happiness, we can learn quite a bit from the stories and examples of others. I came across this fable from Aesop the other day that helped remind me of at least one sure way to find happiness. Check out the fable and see what you can take from it…
THE FOX AND THE WOODCUTTER
A FOX, running before the hounds, came across a Woodcutter felling an oak and begged him to show him a safe hiding-place. The Woodcutter advised him to take shelter in his own hut, so the Fox crept in and hid himself in a corner. The huntsman soon came up with his hounds and inquired of the Woodcutter if he had seen the Fox. He declared that he had not seen him, and yet pointed, all the time he was speaking, to the hut where the Fox lay hidden. The huntsman took no notice of the signs, but believing his word, hastened forward in the chase.
As soon as they were well away, the Fox departed without taking any notice of the Woodcutter: whereon he called to him and reproached him, saying, “You ungrateful fellow, you owe your life to me, and yet you leave me without a word of thanks.” The Fox replied, “Indeed, I should have thanked you fervently if your deeds had been as good as your words, and if your hands had not been traitors to your speech.”
The Woodcutter had a chance to make a friend of the Fox by keeping him safe and doing a good deed. Instead, the Woodcutter was underhanded, with his deeds not matching his words. It’s the problem of the Woodcutter’s actions not holding up to his words. The equivalent of saying one thing but doing another. How can we be happy when our actions don’t match our words? We all know that happiness can be found in many places, and one of those places is in our friendships. But it will be difficult to keep strong relationships when our actions don’t match our words.
If you want a sure way to move closer to living a life of happiness, consider living one where your actions are true to your word. Do what you say and don’t say it if you’re not going to do it. Happiness and strength can be found in conviction and commitment to being a person of your word. Be the good friend and reliable person who can be counted on because you do what you say. Don’t let your actions undermine your words and don’t say one thing, but do another. Consistency in doing the right things is a direct line to happiness.