Marching Bands and Shellfish Are Key to Your Happiness

by Patrick McNerthney

No matter where we are in life; whether our work life, social life, casual life, or boating life – we’re all secretly looking for the same thing. Money, power, and really good crab cakes; not too bready, not too fishy, tender, and with a really piquant  house-made dipping sauce, maybe with a hint of cayenne. No wait, chili powder. Yeah, that’s way better. Thank you, I’ll take another order.   

Okay wait, that was slightly off topic. What I meant to say is that while we humans don’t necessarily need money, power, and really good crab cakes to be happy, we do have a few basic yet hard-to-come-by needs that, if not fulfilled, leave us wanting more. These essential ingredients for happiness (which apply to any situation, work, home, excellent seafood joint, whatever) include:

  • Feeling like we belong, have a voice; that our presence really matters.
  • Having confidence that those around us support us, 
  • Not feeling dumb, any time, anywhere. (I have a hunch that hiding, due to fear of feeling dumb is a common activity.)

That’s right. Our pesky feelings, emotions, and psychology, demand that we have this stuff covered to feel good on any given day. It applies to all walks of life and all trades and professions. It’s the primary ingredient to a bunch of positive words like “joy,” “success,” and “love,” just like crab is the primary ingredient in really great crab cakes. Remember, not too bready please. 

(This makes me not want to eat crab. Gross. I’ll get over it.)

Sounds simple enough right? So what’s the big deal? Let the healing begin! 

Well, the big deal is great organizations know the above points are true and ensure their employees have these needs met. Which is a long way of saying great organizations consist of people who care about each other and show it. (Also, my understanding is this is the exception rather than the rule.)   

Think about that. When was the last time you were involved with a group of people in any business capacity (like the last time you went out to eat – yup, how the server interacts with you counts as a “business capacity”) where you felt seen, heard, like you belong, and that you matter? Or confident, or even just not worried about appearing “dumb?”

More importantly, when was the last time you made this happen for someone else? 

If you answered either question with “never” or “I can’t remember,” or “I didn’t know this nirvana existed, much less that I could create it,” don’t sweat it! You’re not the only one. And there’s a big reason why: There’s no secret squad of famous people that’s going to show up at our doors one day and say, “Nice job. We’ve had covert cameras watching your progress as a (leader/coworker/employee/diner) and we’re here with a marching band and fireworks to celebrate all the great things you do that make such an impact that you deserve applause on live TV.”

(Sorry. Not happening.)

The fact is, our lives take place behind closed doors. If someone opens the door and sees what we’re doing that’s great; it just doesn’t happen often enough to be our motivation. This applies to both our work lives and home lives.

Think about that. It’s up to us to simply give to others what we so desperately crave for ourselves – and to do so knowing it will not be recognized. Sounds pretty generous, and at least explains part of why these needs may not be met at work; after all, work is generally focused on achievements that yield profits, the latter of which are applauded quite robustly! No one has the time to worry about these “essential ingredients for happiness” and how everyone else feels. (Except they really do.) 

And you can bring these essential ingredients to the table in every aspect of your life by simply beginning. When you do, you may find you’re suddenly feeling seen, heard, supported, smart, and brave enough to be vulnerable as a result, because an accidental byproduct of going first is discovering that the people around you were ready to follow your lead all along, they just needed to see you take the first step. 

Fine Art Miracles believes creative expression contains the ingredients your residents and loved ones need to make a life that is rich, fulfilling, empowering, and brimming with hope. Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and Dance and Movement Therapy and their brand new Drama Therapy programs, allow the elderly, children with challenges, and anyone needing help with daily living to connect with their abilities, self-worth, and sense of belonging. By expressing themselves, they are seen, heard, and supported – which leads to comfort, confidence, and the realization that they matter to their community and their families.

So why not give it a shot? Fine Art Miracles is ready to help you LEAD, and connect with those who are so ready to follow if you simply begin. Please reach out with any questions by phone or email, we’re happy to help!

Okay, I have to apologize here; I can’t get these crab cakes off my mind, and I just got over how freaky and unappetizing crabs look in the wild. I’d better run to the store and get crackin’. If they turn out the way I hope, I’ll send you the recipe! (Remember, the key is “not too bready.”) 


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