I will fully admit that until the recent Oscars show on television a few weeks back I had heard little of Pharrell Williams. I know, I am admitting my age, but stay with me.
Williams is a talented, energetic American singer/producer who wears a funny-looking oversized black hat. On Oscar night he performed his song, "Happy," with a large number of young dancers hopping and bopping around the stage to his infectious song.
By the end of the number, young and old alike in the audience were dancing to the beat, too. The song, the beat, the lyrics and Williams delivered what the title said - a whole lot of happy.
Until you hear this song, you can't appreciate the effect it can have. I just know it's all good. Ask a few of my co-workers. When one of them tuned into the music video version of the song online the other morning, every one of us laughed out loud - in a good way - as we watched the upbeat dancing and singing.
It was a spoonful of musical sugar we needed to move on with the tasks before us. With so much dark news about a missing plane and landslides swallowing up people, "Happy" was a brief but welcome respite.
I know too many people who go through life bemoaning the bad things around them.
Sometimes a dose of silly or a good belly laugh can turn a bad day into a glad day. We tend to keep our eyes fixated on our cellphones but forget to look up to see what other amazing things are going on around us.
It took me a long time to realize that it's not up to anyone but me to determine my happiness. It's my own fault if I allow life's downers to keep me down.
I have discovered that happiness is best shared. It's like a really good piece of pie with ice cream. It's only better if there's enough for two.
Happiness can be as simple as the first really warm day of spring when you go out for a walk with a friend. By the time you get to the end of the road, the sunshine has lifted away the grime of winter from your spirits.
Many of us are banking on being happy with that familiar crack of the bat as a baseball flies over the wall for the first homer of the season at PNC Park on Monday. How sweet it is.
The color of happiness might be dressed in black and gold or red, white and blue. You decide.
The sights and scents of happiness are promising to burst forth in coming weeks as we welcome the bright yellow forsythia of spring.
Williams was right when he wrote his "Happy" song. He challenges us to "Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do."
I hope you are clapping today.
Heather Ziegler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.