Monday, October 15, 2007

Finding Happy Guy...

We all go through periods of darkness, where we feel that in every direction we are facing an uphill battle. In these times of inner struggle and conflict it is reassuring to think about something positive... like the true story about finding “Happy Guy.”

Some of you may have heard this story before, but it is one that brings a smile to even the saddest of faces.

Seven years ago, my cousin Nate found a photo in the rubbish bin of a hotel room in Banff, Canada. He kept the picture with him, and returned home to Melbourne, Australia, where he posted the photo on his family's kitchen fridge, and ever since that day "Happy Guy" has been smiling at the family from his spot in the kitchen. Everyone who visited the Sturdy house would always ask about the photograph, inquiring: "Who is that?"
"It's Happy Guy" the family would respond, and then the story of how the picture of a complete stranger ended up on the fridge would follow.

So, why did Nate feel so attracted to this particular picture of a smiling stranger? For no other reason then simply looking at the picture made him feel happy, and how could it not?-!
Earlier this year, Nate and his brother Devin, started a group on Facebook called "Who Is Happy Guy?" The goal of this group was to find and meet the man whom they had formally nicknamed.
They started a "Happy Guy" website (, and made "Who Is Happy Guy?" tee-shirts, and awarded them to anyone who made an extra special "Happy Guy" effort, and that was the beginning of their Global Search.

The result: Making millions of people happy!

Folks from all over the world started to post Happy Guy's picture up and would take photos of it to show all the different places that Happy Guy's smile had reached, and with each new photo you just couldn't help but smile also, proving the age-old saying that "a smile goes a long long way."
Recently, Happy Guy was found!

Although the search has ‘officially’ come to an end, like all good stories the journey is at least as important as the destination, and the tale about how one man's smile made millions more smile is a message in itself:
When we are happy we spread happiness, and when we are in pain we spread suffering.

So, when you're feeling down on your luck, try to think of Happy Guy, and hopefully that inner smile will start to grow, and light your way home.
For it is only when we are able to let go of our feelings of lack and distress that we can open ourselves to participate in the liberation of all living beings.

Thanks for the inspiration Nate & Dev, and thanks to Happy Guy for sharing his smile with the world!