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A Little Book of Happiness

By Ruskin Bond

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‘Having bumbled through eighty years without permanent injury, I am no wiser than an old cabbage! I only know that for the most part I have followed instinct rather than intelligence, and this has resulted in a modicum of happiness. Life hasn’t been a bed of roses. And yet, quite often, I’ve had roses out of season.’

—Ruskin Bond

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‘When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.’

—J.M. Barrie

~

‘I come upon my friend Pitamber dancing on the road one night.
“Why are you dancing in the middle of the road?” I ask.
“Because I am happy,” he says.
“And why are you so happy?”
He looks at me as if I am a fool.
“Because I am dancing in the middle of the road,” he says.’

—Ruskin Bond

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‘If a straw can tickle a man, it is an instrument of happiness.’

—John Dryden

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‘Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another’s happiness than in your own.’

—Honoré de Balzac

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‘The world is like a cheerless headmaster, always telling you to behave. It likes to put you in a box, but you must never let it succeed. The inside of a box is not a happy place.’

—Ruskin Bond

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‘Happiness…is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.’

—Robertson Davies

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‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.’

—Mahatma Gandhi

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‘Help a stranger in distress, do it when there is nothing that requires you to do so, and you will find you are lighter, happier. And maybe one day a stranger will extend a hand when you stumble, and once again you will find happiness when you least expect it.’

—Ruskin Bond

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‘People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy and ease of heart that are like honey on the tongue. They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom.’

—Karen Blixen

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‘Whether by accident or design,
we are here.
Let’s make the most of it, my friend.
Make happiness our pursuit,
Spread a little sunshine here and there.
Enjoy the flowers, the breeze,
Rivers, sea and sky,
Mountains and tall waving trees.
Greet the children passing by,
Talk to the old folk, be kind, my friend.
Hold on in times of pain and strife;
Until death comes, all is life.’

—Ruskin Bond

~

‘We must try to make the end of the journey better than the beginning, as long as we are journeying; but when we come to the end, we must be happy and content.’

—Epicurus

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