Green Bough & Singing Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Arthur Ward

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A Chinese proverb expresses this truth: “If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.”

Here are five “green boughs” we should strive to keep in our hearts:

The green bough of Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is not only contagious, it is attractive. The singing bird of success is drawn toward the green bough of enthusiasm. Where there is enthusiasm, there is excitement, and where there is positive excitement, there is more joy in the job, more sparkle in the eye, and more zest in living.

The green bough of Kindness. Kindness is the Golden Rule in action. Surely what the world needs now is more kindness. The green boughs of kindness grow from the tree of love, and when we truly love others, kindness is natural and instinctive. We should remember the little girl’s prayer: “God, help the bad people be good…and please help the good people to be nice.”


The green bough of Generosity. Our lives sing with joy when we generously share ourselves, our talents and resources in loving service to others. Generosity is the secret of happiness; it is the golden key that unlocks the gates of joy, fulfillment and life more abundant.

The green bough of Humor. It has been said that if we learn to laugh at ourselves we will always be amused. The green bough of humor helps us to laugh at ourselves even when we make a faux pas, when we goof up, when we trip over our tongues…

The green bough of Gratitude. Green boughs of gratitude provide the perfect home for the bluebirds of happiness. With gratitude in our hearts, there can be no room for self-pity, resentment or bitterness. Gratitude attracts more blessings—especially when we humbly and joyfully express our thanksgiving to our God and to those who have encouraged and inspired us.

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