Someone said this about happiness:
To be happy for an hour — take a nap.
To be happy for a day — go shopping.
To be happy for a week — take a vacation.
To be happy for a month — get married.
To be happy for a year — inherit a fortune.
To be happy for a lifetime — help others.
You and I may argue with a couple of points on that list, but the
author is exactly right about how to be happy for the rest of
your life. Lasting contentment can always be found in helping
others. It is truly a secret that many people have never
Marion Preminger stumbled upon it and wrote about where lasting
happiness is to be found in her autobiography ALL I WANT IS
EVERYTHING. Born in Hungary in 1913, Marion was raised in a
castle, surrounded by wealth, servants and the notoriety of an
At a Viennese ball, she met a handsome young man, the son of an
Italian doctor. They rushed into a marriage that lasted only a
She returned to Vienna to embark on a career of acting. There she
fell in love with the German director Otto Preminger. They
married and she followed him to America where he began a
promising career as a Hollywood movie director. But her new
Hollywood lifestyle could not sustain her marriage and Preminger
eventually divorced her.
Marion returned to Europe to live the life of a Parisian
socialite until 1948. Then everything changed when she read that
Dr. Albert Schweitzer was visiting Europe from his home in
Africa. She determined to meet with the notable missionary doctor.
She first encountered Schweitzer doing one of the things he loved
to do best while visiting Europe — playing a church organ for
his own enjoyment. He invited her to dine with him. After the
meal, Marion knew she had finally found what she’d been looking
for. She accompanied Schweitzer every day during the remainder of
his European visit. He invited to come back to Africa with him
and work as an untrained staff member in the Lamberene hospital.
She left her life of status and ease and moved to Africa.
There…the girl who was raised like a princess became a servant.
She changed bandages, bathed bodies and fed lepers. She gave her
life away to the poor, and because of it, found the happiness
she’d craved for so long.
It was Albert Schweitzer who asserted, “One thing I know: the
only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will
have sought and found how to serve.”
However, wherever and whomever you choose to help is unimportant.
There are those in need everywhere. But when you figure out how
to help other people, you’ll have also learned how to be happy
for a lifetime.