Healing: "Walk the Talk" to Happiness

What to cultivate on our path to greater happiness.

Henry Allingham

Photo from AP press
Photo from AP press

Long Life

Recently, the world lost Britain’s last WW I veteran, Henry Allingham. And, with him, went a lot of institutional cultural living memory. He had outlived his friends, his wife and even his daughter. His wife, Dorothy, died back in 1970 and his daughter, Jeanne, in 2001. He grieved, waiting to die, according to accounts by his friends.

Yet, upon making a new friend, Dennis Goodwin, who saw his societal worth as a living long memory, he found purpose again. To his credit, even in the last decade of his life, Henry began speaking to anyone who would listen. He gave interviews and talked to youth groups. He spoke most about one subject passionately: war must be avoided for it brings too much sorrow and that “we must honor the best of us who give their all for the rest of us to live well.” He wanted their memories to live on and they did – through him.

One of the beauties of coming from a family of very long-lived people is that you don't lose the institutional memory of historical events. Another plus is that you don't lose what former generations taught in the way of good character, something Henry stressed repeatedly to the youth of his nation. What is in fashion in one generation is often out of fashion in the next and, so, we lose the cultural continuity of good values without people like Henry to remind us.

Photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr
Photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

Family: the good, the bad and the ugly of character

Like in any family there were those in mine who were, well, slugs, when it came to good character. What can I say? The truth is the truth. Or, as is what is popular today: “It is what it is.” To a person they lived miserable anti-social lives, unhappy the majority of the time because they focused too much upon themselves. In my book there is nothing wrong with being good to your self. Just try to make the same good faith effort for others as you would your self . Your life and theirs are enriched!

Twittering and Blogging in Ancient Japan :)

Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com @ flickr
Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com @ flickr

Blogging as ultimate social site

For instance, I enjoy writing all these many blogs. It gives me a creative outlet for color, design and writing about anything and everything that interests me in this world of awesome wonders. Writing these blogs also gives me a chance to share with others as if these blogs were the ultimate social site of sharing! By sharing with others a person can enrich the lives of others while they enrich their own.

From the family dog: "Live simple; live happy!"

Photo by snuzzy @ flickr
Photo by snuzzy @ flickr

Joy as concept of good character

Then comes the Joy as was taught in previous generations like in Henry’s… So, I guess, I’ll try to pick up where Henry left off. His was an eternal message and a poignant reminder of how to be a happy person and build a better society as a result of cultivating Joy. This kind of Joy has lain dormant for the past 25 years or so, drowned out by business greed and the drive to unbalanced excessive and financial-only success.

There are a lot of facets to the concept of success. Monetary wealth and accumulation is only a small part of the equation. This much power, and large wealth, requires the learning of real wisdom in order to not destroy your own life. I could get into what the ancient Kabbalists have to say about the power inherent in money and how to prepare for basically trying to grab a tiger by the tail but that would be another very long write! :)

Happiness and Joy create lasting friendship

Photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr
Photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

Global Society and Happiness

Henry’s story – and his passing - made the global news. That’s a good thing. His passing is a reminder to us all to live better - by doing better. He was “walking the talk” down to his last breath and you just have to admire his purity of heart, tenacity of will and generosity of spirit. Perhaps it's time for global society to rediscover some of the ancient wisdom of Henry’s time and past societies, learning to appreciate the success of others as well as their own. Happiness can be an elusive creature to those who are calculating and refuse to dig deep into their hearts and offer up greater generosity to those around them. Generosity of spirit goes a long way to creating a much happier life! Here’s what Goethe had to say on the subject of happiness.

Famed German writer Goethe at age 69

Photo via Wikipedia
Photo via Wikipedia

Quote by Goethe

“Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t'were his own.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832)

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Comments are always welcome! 32 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Very nice my dear and so very true..."Walking the talk" said this before and shall say it again.."you can say anything you want, it's what you do that counts"..I remember that everyday...Thanks...:O) Hugs

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! Always glad to see your lovely face!

franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines

Wow Denny, this is a very fine piece of writing! I feel blessed for having known a writer like you even if it's only in the internet.

Your subject is a stuff for educators who take upon themselves the role of channels of memory and wisdom.

I am so inspired by your writing on joy as concept of good character. Yeah, one of those eternal truths! Thanks for this hub, Denny.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

What a fascinating story! It's great to find inspirational people who make us strive to do better...and live better, as you've said. Thanks for writing this hub :)

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, franciaonline, thanks for visiting! Since you are a fine educator, I'm counting on you to continue to "pass it forward" on teaching good character! Thanks for the kind compliment too as I value your opinion as you are a fine writer yourself, especially enjoy your melodic poetry.

pinktaxi profile image

pinktaxi 7 years ago from Tualatin, Oregon, USA

I know I would have liked Henry.

When I was 8 yrs. old, a woman came to visit our cub scout meeting. She was 100 years old. She had been born in 1859!

And, she had been born in the town I grew up in. She spent two hours telling us what life was like when she was a little girl, and answering our questions.

I've never forgot what she told us. I've never forgot her words about apricot orchards and buckboard rides with her dad along the shores of San Francisco Bay...

That was 50 years ago. The older you become the faster time moves.

I didn't get the opportunity, till I was 54, to teach kindergarten (as a student teacher). Forty-five years to someone five is like a 1000 years. The kids always wanted to know what it was like when I was a little boy?

I always took the time to tell them stories, and they always paid "close" attention. I was surprised because they were only 5.

If we just take the time, as Henry did, people will listen. People have, maybe an instinct, to absorb days gone by.

We all can be the messenger...

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, pinktaxi, thanks for stopping by this page! What a wonderful varied life experience you have lived as you stated on your profile page. Little kids really do draw you into the moment as they truly know how to live in the "Now." Glad to meet another "messenger" for the next generation!

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Very nicely written and lots of ancient wisdom to draw on here. Thanks for sharing Henry's story. He indeed was a great example of how to cultivate lasting joy and happiness.

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Dottie1, thanks for your visit! Henry was one cool guy!

emohealer profile image

emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

A great article about Joy! How wonderful to share Henry's story to add to the joy in everyones life. Your hub was uplifting to me. Keep spreading the joy and letting your light shine.

JazLive profile image

JazLive 7 years ago from Decatur

Yes indeed, action speaks louder than words.

readabook profile image

readabook 7 years ago from Texas

Thank you for reminding us about where happiness comes from. I am a big fan of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and the advice is similar.

Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

Advice given to me from my own father, (Korean vet) was let only one or two of my sons go to war, not all. There was only 3 out of 7 of them after that conflict. Beautiful article. :)

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, emohealer, thanks for your visit and the very kind compliment! Your life's work is most valuable, helping people heal emotionally!

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, JazLive, thanks for visiting!

Jodi Hoeksel profile image

Jodi Hoeksel 7 years ago

Such a beautiful messege, Denny! A nice one to share through the global community! :)

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Denny: You always give us a delicious morsel of truth and inspiration, which we devour and feel satiated and content, and then we want to share the bounty with those around us. Thank you.

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, JazLive, thanks for visiting; glad to meet you!

Hi, readabook, thanks for stopping by! Don't Sweat the Small Stuff is so very true; some people just can't figure it out: what to keep and what to throw in the trash. :)

(I just created a new quotes blog six hours ago, just coming up for air and am getting a bit buggy. Can you tell I just finished the Curmudgeon and Ironic Humor sections???)

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Jodi, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment! Glad to see you!

Hi, Christoph, you are especially eloquent today - awe - thanks for visiting and the lovely compliment!

Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Denny, I so enjoyed this Hub. Maybe this will forge a path for me to follow one day. Beautiful images here as well. I love the Goethe quote, I 'tweeted' it


Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, AID Y, thanks for your lovely visit! Always glad to see a talented poet show up to weigh in on the word goodies! :)

Yeah, Goethe is actually good for a few tweets now and then - thanks for the tweet for him. I really enjoy the uber serious guys like Nietzche whom most folks would never consider to be funny - but maybe I'm a bit cracked - yet I find some very serious people like him to have a great sense of humor.

Usually, a celebrity is only known for one thing or area of writing and, as time goes by, like say a century, people lose track of the other word treats those writers once offered. It's always fun to rediscover...

salmanali123 profile image

salmanali123 7 years ago

good creative hub this is

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, salmanali123, thanks for your visit!

Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

We could all learn a valuable lesson from Henry's life. "Walking the Talk" isn't always easy but it always pays off in the end. Thank you for this wonderful Hub. You are in deed a valuable writer!

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Kebennett1, thanks for your lovely comment and visit!

HubCrafter profile image

HubCrafter 6 years ago from Arizona

Hi Denny:

I enjoyed this fascinating ramble. The search for happiness casts a wide net.

Whether I expect the catch to be a daily marvel can be it's own measure of happiness itself.

Expectations like children's eyes are sometimes larger than the skies. Happiness is not the best umbrella for when it rains. It takes some trouble to make us hunger for the dry days and then a little more to make us grateful.


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

Thanks Denny.

Lessons of history sadly pass away with those that learnt them. Though wisdom dictates we take to heart their experiences, human pride ever continues to retread the same paths, inflict the same pain, attract the same consequences. When a generation can honestly look at itself and say, "I do not know the path for my feet to take", only then will it avoid the pitfalls of those who, before it, thought they did.

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 6 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, parrster, so true, for humanity learns slowly. Look at it this way: those who learn slowly, learn their lessons well and never forget. Better than the fast learner who quickly sets aside good lessons.

I also take the view there are those who study wisdom in every life time, though the minority. There are those who chose to humble their egos to learn new paths and give comfort and love to those who are still trying to figure out if they want to even approach the starting line.

Pursuing Wisdom is a long view. The current generation is just now roused to the thought of taking a long term view as opposed to the fastest gratification. It will be interesting to observe and see where they go with their new awarenesses.

For more personal development thoughts, please visit:


It's where I park my deeper thoughts on life.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

"Live simple, live happy". It reverberates through the heart for those who choose to live a happy frugal life. Great message!

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 6 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Lita, thanks for visiting - and many happy days to you!

Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

I love this hub and all your hubs. So inspiring. I do agree we need to walk the walk and in this life " Love is a Verb" Your doing great on this in your hubs.

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 6 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Healing Touch, thanks for visiting and the kind compliment!

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    Photo Credits

    Henry Allingham by AP photo

    Woman photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

    Twittering and blogging geishas by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com @ flickr

    Pug dog photo by snuzzy @ flickr

    3 children by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

    Goethe photo via Wikipedia

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