Yo! Yo-Yo Ma!



When it comes to learning, I think it’s always a good idea to do things a second time, or at least more than once, like read a book, watch a show you enjoy, or listen to a radio program. I always pick up new information that I might have missed the first time round, enriching my experience even more.

Today like most days I thought about happiness. Especially with Christmas fast approaching, and like most folks I reflect on life, love, happiness or unhappiness, and all those feelings that become more intense during this time of year.

This morning I happened upon a re-broadcast about Yo-Yo Ma, who has produced a new work he calls Arc of Life. I listened this time closely to him, talk about life, milestones, and rights of passage we all experience throughout our lives.

I was waiting and hoping Yo-You Ma would say something about happiness. Finally, at the very end of the program he was asked a question regarding advice he might have for  others. He then said some wonderful wise words. This is what he said.

“Stay open. I think when people are afraid, we close up, we close ranks, we go into a shell, we become intolerant. Because we’re trying to be self-protective.

Having friends, trusting people, collaborating, and being empathetic can lead to … the scaffolding to get to hope.  For me, being open and being generous is huge. It actually can lead to happiness, oddly enough. 

Happiness, I think, is a byproduct of — I didn’t say it, Freud said it — work and love … Hey, you suddenly realize, I’m happy.”



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