This was written for the August 12 issue of my hometown paper, The Prospect-News.
All kiddos hear variations of ‘pretty is as pretty does’ growing up. Where did Momma get that idea anyway? Probably from Grandma, who heard it from her granny, who heard it from hers, all the way back to the 1300’s. Chaucer used it in “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” around 1387. In 1776 Oliver Goldsmith penned ‘handsome is as handsome does’ in “The Vicar of Wakefield.” The lesson is universal and timeless that it isn’t the perfect pair of shoes or britches, the right hat or dress, that generates accolades. It is the actions of the ones in those shoes and britches that matter most – a life-long lesson.
In the 1994 movie favorite, Forrest Gump’s mother expanded the thought to ‘stupid is as stupid does’ that served Forrest well. A lesson learned.
“Happiness is as happiness does’ is yet another life-long lesson plan for most of us. Maybe it isn’t as elusive as it seems. We pull the strings that bring happiness our way with our thoughts, choices and actions. Benjamin Disraeli said it this way: “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
How can we go wrong with actions filtered through ‘pretty is as pretty does’ and ‘stupid is as stupid does’ on our way to happy? We’re there before we realize it.