Though still very far from being perfect girls, each was slowly learning, in her own way, one of the three lessons all are the better for knowing: that cheerfulness can change misfortune into love and friends; that in ordering one's self aright one helps others to do the same; and that the power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.
~ Louisa May Alcott
Why does this seem so corny when it's so true? Who doesn't appreciate cheerfulness over rancor, grumpiness, remonstration? I certainly have had the experience of making an effort towards kindness & being rewarded with kindness & friendship in return, usually way more than I put in. And the invisibility of keeping your life in order gets out of the way of others' tangles, which if it doesn't always help others, it sometimes does, for sure. And conscious gratefulness for small satisfactions & joys does make for a happy life.
Saying this makes me thinking of being part of a group reading, years ago, called Blood & Guts in High School. Everyone but me talked about things like being the only heroin addict in their high school, while I read from my actual high school diary, all about boys & fashion & hippies (who I desperately desired to emulate, but unsurprisingly, there weren't any in Sioux Falls, SD, in 1970). Why is it more embarrassing to be a (relatively) happy, satisfied teenager than a malcontent?