A Letter on Happiness from Our President

May 8, 2015 by Morningside Ministries


The Greatest Gift

By Alvin Loewenberg


Happiness, however it finds us, is a much needed part of life. It feeds us, heals us, opens us to others and to the world, inspires us, and gives us hope and promise. It is the greatest gift that will ever come our way, and we cannot live and thrive without it.

I have had wonderful fulfillment in my work at Morningside Ministries. I know that we are touching lives and making situations better for older adults and families. Part of the happi­ness comes from this recognition and achieving goals, but much also comes from the striving. Knowing that there are still opportunities to be gained and areas to grow in service makes “striv­ing” a great source of happiness.

At Morningside, I see employees bringing happiness to residents who live with us. Happiness comes from knowing that someone cares, and we have employees who care deeply. Being cared for and served by those who see their jobs as a giving and loving ministry brings tremendous comfort and happiness.

Of course, my four children make me happy. To see them as adults with strong minds and even stronger opinions brings me great joy. To watch and hear them interact, laugh, dis­agree, accept their differences, and care deeply about each other is a won­derful thing for a father. When children are not happy, content and fulfilled, Dad is not happy.

I am a boy from the Deep South. Southern accents, balmy summer nights, the smell of honeysuckle and magnolias, a pasture filled with the glow of fireflies, the sound of crickets in the early evening, dogwood trees and azaleas—all of these make me happy because I am reminded of my growing up years in Mississippi. There is an aura in the South that does not exist anywhere else. It is difficult to explain. You really have to experience it to understand it, there is no place quite like it.

Relationships make me happy, particularly those I have formed at Morningside Ministries with residents, employees, and family members. My job as President brings me into contact with talented, wise, and gracious resi­dents who value their life experiences and mine, as well. I know employees who are caring, committed, strong and determined, and always striving to be better. It is a great delight and privilege to share a laugh, a story, a joy, a family detail, and even a very personal somber moment with both groups. Happiness comes from caring about others and knowing they care about me.

There are so many more things that I now realize make me happy. Writing this article on happiness has given me a new appreciation for how joyous and happy my life really is! No more moping for me. My life really is filled with much joy and content­ment. Thank you for allowing me to reflect on my personal happiness and joy. Give it a try yourself – you will be amazed to discover just how happy you really are.