The Language of Happiness
At one point while living in Sacramento California I took a raft trip down the American River with some friends. Now to be clear this was more of a float than serious rafting and accompanying me were five of my friends including two couples. The one couple consisted of a friend of mine and his girlfriend from Germany. Now there was some drinking going on during this little trip and the girl from Germany didn’t drink so I thought it was important that I be able to call for help in German, should I need her assistance. She patiently taught me the phrase,” help I’m drowning” in German, and laughed like hell when I repeated it. I assumed I was somehow butchering the accent, but we were communicating and I felt safer.
During this trip one of the most amazing things I ever saw happened. At one point while were playing around in waist deep water, the other woman with us on the trip was sitting on the edge of the raft drinking a cup of beer. The raft was bucked by her boyfriend so violently that she actually bounced up and did a full flip landing feet first standing in the river. That was not the amazing part, throughout the entire bounce, flip and landing she never spilled a single drop from her cup. It was truly beautiful.
Everyone smiles in the same language.
Throughout the day I kept playing around and yelling in my butchered German, “help I’m drowning!” My friend’s girlfriend continued to laugh and laugh and then at the end of the day she came up to me and explained what was making her laugh so much. Apparently a slight mispronunciation on my part had changed the phrase from help I’m drowning, to the more appropriate, “help I’m drinking!” We all got a great laugh out of that and this story and that phrase has gotten me a lot of laughs from a lot of Germans I’ve met. So remember to laugh my friends, even if it is at yourself.
I live by this credo: Have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations. Even in your darkest moment, you usually can find something to laugh about if you try hard enough. ~ Red Skelton