Have you ever read the book about Frederick the mouse?

I recently remembered how much I love this book and what an impact it had on my life.

Frederick is about a little mouse who sits outside every day when it's warm, just to think.  As the other mice are busy collecting food, he just watches the world around him, and appears to be daydreaming.  Sometimes the mice grow frustrated with him, but he never stops what he is doing.  

When winter comes, all of the mice are in their burrow where it's dark, and cold, and dreary.  They have plenty of food because they worked hard to collect it all summer, but they aren't happy.  So Frederick starts describing the warmth of the sun, and the colors of the flowers, and all of the happy things he thought about during the warm summer months.  Soon all of the other mice felt happy because of the power in Frederick's optimism. 

The greatest moral I learned from this story as a child, actually wasn't to be optimistic, although that is an important lesson.  (Along with what my mother taught me about the importance of work and contributing, unlike Frederick), what I learned from Frederick is that it's okay to be different. 

Frederick was himself, and he was happy.  It's so simple.

I'm still learning that lesson.  I think one of the things that's interesting about being human, is that we're constantly changing and rediscovering who we are.  The most crucial thing to realize during these experiences is that as long as we are true to our best self, we will have true joy.  

It's really a beautiful process.

No comments: