"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats." Iris Murdock.
Philosopher Iris Murdoch was a very good philosopher and accomplished novelist in the late twentieth century. Her work on ethics is excellent. And her understanding of life was deep. Was she joking here? Or should we take her use of the adjective 'continuous' as a light hyperbole for what is indeed mostly true?
Today, because of my travels to bring philosophy to a lot of people in diverse places this week, I have to be brief. And, in cleaning my study, I found this Murdock quote on an old boarding pass from years ago (August, 1997) that I had once used as a book mark.
We often think that happiness requires very big things to fall into place for us. If only this, if only that, then one day, I'll feel happy. But Murdock saw more wisely. It's the little things that often mean the most. In fact, when my daughter graduated from high school, she was asked to speak, and she read an essay she had written about her childhood memories called "The Little Things." There was hardly a dry eye in the house.
Small delights keep us going. Small treats ornament life. And if you give yourself enough opportunities for such treats, you'll find that you have a smile on your face more often, which isn't quite the same thing as happiness, but contributes to facilitate that elevated state.
So give yourself a treat.