Wednesday, October 18, 2017
The Happy Top Ten
By Darryl James (Columnist)
Published May 27, 2009

“But when I look around and think things over, all of my good days outweigh my bad days and I won’t complain.”
-Rev. Paul Jones

There’s too much bad news on the news.

The economy is in the toilet, people are losing their homes and many Americans are looking for a way out.

For some of them, the way out is suicide and many of those are taking entire families with them.

But the beautiful thing about life is that there is always a way out and there are always plenty of things to be happy about. The thing is to focus on the positive, which can attract even more positivity.

For me, I always count my blessings and frankly, the bad has never outweighed the good.

I have much to be happy about and I’d like to share in hopes that my happiness will inspire others.

In another Top Ten list, here are my Top Ten Things To Be Happy About:

Happy Top Ten:

1. My health.

Diabetes runs in my family and in 2008, my blood sugar was high enough to classify me as a Diabetic. Instead of taking medication, I simply stepped up the workout plan and changed my eating habits. I didn’t have a great deal of weight to lose, but internally, I cleaned things up. My blood sugar has been normal since one month after I was first diagnosed and all else is looking very good, thank you.

2. My ability to earn a living.

When the economy hit the skids in 2008, many of my clients just could not pay me what they owed me. Instead of getting angry and frustrated, I simply stepped up my hustle and went back to other things that I am skilled at. I work harder, but the bills are paid and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my business, which is more than a lot of Americans can say.

3. The free and easy laughter of my son.

There is not a day that could go wrong that can’t be brightened by the open happiness of my beautiful son. If he hasn’t been with me for a few hours, he smiles broadly and giggles, nearly as happy to see Daddy as Daddy is to see him.

4. Friends.

I am fortunate enough to have friends who have now been in my life for more than half of the time that I have been alive. Frankly, I feel silly calling some of them friends because they are as close as family.

5. Family.

They say you can choose your friends and not your family, but when I take inventory of my family, most of them are people I would consciously choose were they not already related to me. I was financially poor while growing up, but very rich indeed in love and I remain so.

6. A Black President.

I don’t expect Barack Obama to save me or even really to directly change my life, but I appreciate the symbolism that he represents for me and for my son, who will grow up believing that his life has no limits.

7. I’m happy about my ability to think independently.

As a youth, I had to learn to make peace with the fact that most people not only fail to think for themselves, but also become enraged at me for thinking on my own. I now understand that of all the things weak minds fear, they fear thinking most of all. My only fear is being around people who can not think independently.

8. My Blackness.

I am happy that even with all of the challenges I face as a Black man, I get to understand and feel the legacy, the resilience, the resourcefulness and rich history bestowed upon me. I am happy that I get the music, the dances, the food, the swagger and the love of the most beautiful women on the planet.

9. My spirituality.

What I believe in and the way in which I believe are none of anyone’s business, but my spirituality keeps me connected to humanity and to love in a way that makes more sense than traditional religious concepts and never, never, never, fails me.

10. I thank God for my unconquerable soul.

Beyond my courage of conviction, I am thankful that I can not be beaten into submission by evil people, ignorant people or selfish people. I am not afraid to lose, nor am I afraid to continue to try even after a failure. I truly am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul and no matter how stormy the sea of life, I remain true.

These are the top ten things that make me happy. Feel free to add your own.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” He released his first mini-movie, “Crack,” and will soon release his first full-length documentary. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at





Categories: Opinion

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