Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Will Choose to be Happy, the continuing Book Review by Diana

As we continue our book review of The Travelers Gift, 7 Decisions That Determine Personal Success written by Andy Andrews, we find our traveler, David arriving in war torn, Nazi occupied Holland. Spinning with closed eyes David realizes his feet have landed on solid footing. He opens them to find himself in a very small space, smack dab up against a young girl about his daughters age. Everyone is frozen in mid motion, as someone knocks upon the outside of the rooms walls. He hears yelling and people running. The girl next to him puts her finger to her lips, motioning him to be quiet.

The young girl turns out to be non other than Anne Frank who's diary David our traveler had read when he was in school. With permission from her father once the danger had passed, Anne leads David up to 'the Anex', an attic space that those of you having read Anne's book will be familiar with as the place Anne often went to be alone. Here, from a large window that looked out upon the street, Anne could see the hands of a huge clock and catch glimpses of a sunny sky, floating clouds or rain. David was surprised to find Anne appeared Happy. An emotion that he felt did not fit her family's circumstances at all. After a few minutes of conversation, David learned it was 1943 and that they had been hidden behind these warehouse walls for over a year, eating what rationed foods a friend could bring to them.

"How do you not complain to me about your difficult circumstances?', David inquired of Anne. "You seem so happy." Annes' reply gives us the FIFTH decision David was sent on this journey to learn. "I choose to be happy. I learned when I was young, from my dear Papa, that just as I would choose to turn on or off the radio, I can also choose to be happy or not. I choose to be happy. Our lives are fashioned by choice. First we make choices, then our choices make us. I choose to be grateful. I choose not to complain."

Anne learned from her Papa that it was what was inside of a person that determined how successful they would be. She read great authors, sought out friendships with those of integrity. Anne Frank's many choices through out her young life filled her up, developed her strong character, lent her courage and the wisdom that she drew upon, sequestered behind warehouse walls. Anne Frank was a writer. She could not have known how her words would be shared beyond her short life, that her words would long out live her. As believers in God, we have read of the power of words. The book of John tells us our world and it's universe was brought forth by spoken words. The stars were called into being as well as the oceans and land we stand on.

Just this morning as I read Romans 5: 3-5, in 'our' tribulations or troubles we can wait patiently for our hope in God will not disappoint us. We can choose to be happy, to rejoice knowing we are loved by God. Words of encouragement. Words spoken by God through a yielded man. As writers, you can choose to write encouraging words that will make a difference long after we are gone, words of hope. Words that will be your legacy. Your offering.

The 5th decision for success from writer Andy Andrews is: I Will Choose to be Happy.

How can we apply this to our writing, agenting and editor lives?

From my heart to yours,


writer jim said...


All praise and thanks to God.

This is a wonderful post...I think you said it all perfectly. I've been pondering it for a half hour; trying to imagine what judgment day will be like. I believe God will heap great praise on precious Anne Frank.

I give God continual thanks day and night...striving to make HIM HAPPY. If I can make God happy, I feel real happy. Yet I'm sure Anne Frank was a million times better than me.

Karin said...

What a GREAT post, Diana! I agree with it completely.

As a writer, I definitely have a choice as to how I respond to praise, criticism, rejection, etc. While not every person's comment will make me happy, I can choose how to respond to it.

I try to learn from every comment that I receive (especially the negative ones). Sometimes they don't seem very helpful (or even nice), but I can always glean something from them.

Thanks for reminding me of that!

Diana said...

Thank you both for your comments. This made me think of the adage- to become a great man or women we must stand on the shoulders of great men and women.

Jeanette Levellie said...


Funny I should read this post today. I woke up this morning after some disturbing dreams, only to be attacked with cold symptoms. Worse yet, my hair chose to act squirrely. So I composed this poem:

My haircut looks funky,
I may not feel spunky,
But I choose to be happy

I never claimed to receive an A in poetry, but this silly verse helped me overcome my temptation to whine.

Especially compared to people like Anne Frank and those in Haiti.

Diana said...

Jen you tickle me!

Connie Cameron said...

Diana - what a perfect reminder that happiness is a choice, especially in the midst of a midwest winter. While the foot or so of snow is beautiful, it brings along with it its share of hassles and headaches.

But for today, I choose joy!

Diana said...

Connie,Glad you are choosing Happy! Have a super weekend and stay warm!