Tom T. Hall's Ode to Positivity

A woman finds inspiration in a beloved country song that celebrates life’s small blessings and simple pleasures.

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Country music legend Tom T. Hall

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.—Marcus Aurelius

I was invited to a local recording studio one afternoon recently to meet country singer, Tom T. Hall. He entertained us with several of his songs and explained how he came to write the one entitled, “I Love.”

He told us that he heard a psychiatrist say that the way to have a good day is to sit down first thing every morning and make a list of everything you dislike, everything that bothers you and everyone who bugs you. Then, by tearing up the list and throwing it away, you can help rid yourself of all your grievances.

“But that,” Mr. Hall said, “seemed too negative. I couldn’t see starting my day off by thinking of all those ugly things. It seemed that I should try to think of happy things, things I love. So I made a list, and part of that list became a song.”

We all listened while he sang, enumerating things he loves—little yellow ducks, old pickup trucks, slow-moving trains and summer rains, country streams, sleep without dreams, coffee in cups, little fuzzy pups. And every now and then he added, “And I love you!”

A happy, loving list can easily grow longer than a mean, hateful list. And everyone’s loving list is unique. Why not make out your own? You might find, as Tom T. Hall did, that it’s a great way to start off every day.

Father, help me to center on the happy things of life, not just early in the morning, but all day through.

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