Hooded Oriole, Male, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Are Birds Happy? | June 2017

Happy or Sad?

Hooded Oriole, Male, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog post: Happy or Sad?

Hooded Oriole, Male

“Hello, good bird,” I said, “You look so sad. Are you ever happy?”

“Actually, I’m neither happy nor sad,” replied the bird.

“How can that be?”

“I just am.”

“But would you rather be happy?”

“Not really.”


“Because then I’d have to keep score.”

“Of what?”

“Whether I was happy enough. And if I thought I could be happier, I’d have to work at that.”

“That could make you sad.”

“Yes, and being sad makes life worse.”

“How so?”

“If I let myself be sad, I’d have to fix the mistake that made me sad. Then I’d be busy finding mistakes so I could fix them. And as a result, I’d live in a world of mistakes.”

“So if you’re neither happy nor sad, what do you have?”


Much success,

Steve Kaye

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Help Yourself Tip

Find peace by living well. This includes: Practicing kindness, Making good choices, Connecting with Nature, Sharing with others, and Taking care of yourself.

Begin with this article on Kindness: 27 Ways to Be Kind

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  • Kristin Risley
    Posted at 18:24h, 07 June

    Wow, what a picture and what wise words. As always Steve, I thank you for sharing your gifts of photography and beautiful writing. I look forward to each and every post! Have a glorious summer.

  • Kathryn Grace
    Posted at 12:05h, 08 June

    Such clarity! Both in the photo and in the prose. I have to admit, I like feeling happiness, especially when I’m with my grandchildren, or any member of my family. It is a joy, actually. to sit with them, chatting, or just being still, seeing their smiles. Holding my wee grandson, his eyes looking into mine as he takes his bottle while his mama is away–the sense of peace in those moments is what I wish for every sentient creature.

    But I understand what you mean, Steve, about finding peace in the absence of either happiness or sadness. Since I’m unwilling to go full on Buddhist and give up my connection to happiness, I must endure sadness and the other emotions as well. The trick for me, then becomes to find that well of peace within, when I am raging at one injustice or another, or weeping at suffering–mine or another’s. I don’t always succeed, at least not right away.

    I’m sorry your site was hacked. What a pain to have to recover everything, but I’m grateful you did. When your post turned up in my feed today, I said out loud, “Yay! Steve’s got a new post!”

  • Daphne Radenhurst
    Posted at 07:39h, 09 June

    He’s a happy looking bird and the philosophy is great.

  • Jack Kirkorn
    Posted at 12:55h, 12 June

    Steve. Keep them coming. Love your photos and blog. Thanks so much.

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