If there were a sliding scale of misfortune it would show that amongst my compatriots with disabilities, I am on the luckier side. I walk somewhat stiffly with a cane. It's a look that the TV character House made cool for a while.
Compared to others I have known, (people with no use of their arms or legs, people who have no arms or legs, people who can't speak, etc.) many would be happy to limp a mile in my shoes.
Since sports weren't the best fit for me, most of the joy in my life came from things that I did with my mind. I played music and bonded with musicians. I wrote poetry and made my living as a writer.
Equal parts psychology, art, philosophy and family, I have to admit my column is a quirky one. The idea from the start was simple: Newspapers are filled with bad news. Why not write about the things people do to make themselves happy?
When The Joy of Life was picked up by 27 newspapers I discovered that I was not alone in my desire for good news.
I made it a point to learn along with readers each week. Columns came from experiments, like dialing random phone numbers to connect with strangers, or conversations with celebrities, friends and family that showed the bonds between us all.
Interviewees seemed to enjoy it as well. People like Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and Daryl Hall did their best to come along for the ride as we explored life’s more meaningful moments.
The first column ran seven years ago, right before Christmas. Thank you for reading along and exploring with me.
I am not done yet. But I want to let you know how much writing for you has meant to me. It has given me a deep sense of pride, and I count it as one of the many ways in which I am lucky.