Leadership Blog

Happiness is a Choice!

Posted on April 25, 2014 | in Culture | by

A member of the “Greatest Generation,” Uncle Big Bob awoke every day with an attitude to be happy.  Like many of my beloved 25 aunts and uncles, he had a larger-than-life personality.  We buried Uncle Big Bob three years ago and he left behind a legacy that went well beyond being a dedicated veteran, devoted family man, and successful farmer.

Regardless of what happened or how hard he had to work, Uncle Big Bob made every day a happy one.  Nothing was going to keep him from being happy and having fun, whether it be the price of corn falling, bad weather hurting the crop yields, or the politicians raising taxes.  Uncle Big Bob did everything with an attitude of choosing to be happy and making life fun, which made him fun to be around.  Still, Uncle Big Bob always knew the realities of tough times and challenges.  Even then, he chose to look at the glass half full, and if it wasn’t full enough, he would figure out how to fill it up more.  His attitude infected the world around him and made life exciting for all of us.

To share an example, I was at his farm when he announced that the agenda for the day was to clean the manure out of the barn.  Few could imagine this job being fun but Uncle Big Bob declared, “come on, let’s go have some fun and clean out the barn.”  Yeh, right! Fun?!  Not my idea of fun but at his insistence, I went along.  He handed me a shovel, and we started to work.  Then, Uncle Big Bob started telling jokes.  They kept coming.  It was hilarious, and I discovered Uncle Big Bob really knew how to make shoveling manure fun!

With his attitude, Uncle Bob made a difference in everyone’s life around him.  He chose to be happy!  An All-American farmer, Uncle Big Bob’s smile in the picture below, while in the barn milking the cows, says it all!

This week, make your choice to be happy, which “puts more into the world” in a unique way, which incidentally is one definition of Sustainability.
… And Pass It On!

Uncle Big Bob

Uncle Big Bob

Quote from Uncle Big Bob: “If you are going to live it, you might as well love it!”

3 Responses to “Happiness is a Choice!”

  1. Fred Roberts says:

    All my life I thought I was Uncle Bob’s most favorite nephew. I just bet every nephew he had thought they were his favorite also.

  2. Dick Daniels says:

    KB, I like it when you praise that generation of men, like your uncle Bob. When we were in college I noticed the manner in which you talked about your dad. I could tell that you admired and respected him a lot and had a great relationship with him. That is why I started calling you KB, because I knew that your middle name was the same as your dad’s first name, Buryl. I may have misspelled it, but I remember very clearly how you spoke of him. I never had a good relationship with my dad, and I realized several years after his death that I was part of the problem, because I did not show him enough respect. He spent 4 years in WWII, and he came back a changed person (for the worse), according to my uncle Adolph, who was my dad’s godfather. But I didn’t do my part very well at all, and I regret it so much. Memorial Day is fast approaching, but I wish I would have honored him when he was alive too. Keep up the good work, KB.

    • KB Kleckner says:

      Thanks for your comment, Dick. Yes, the greatest generation made sacrifices we do not fully understand but we are certainly the benefactors. Thanks to your Dad for serving four years in WWII!

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