Arctic Dream

Happiness is People

After a year living on an remote island, I confess to having had no moments of epiphany. I haven’t made big, dramatic new discoveries about myself or the world around me. But if I have to point to one learning, the experience has helped me see more clearly that the most important thing in the world is to surround oneself with good people.

This year, we have lived happily on a small income in a remote place among people we didn’t know before. Sure, this island is beautiful. Stunning. But what really made us happy was having the four of us together, and having the wonderful people of Rødøy around us. We recall on a school hiking trip shortly after we arrived, Marcus said he was tired. In an instant an older boy picked up Marcus and carried him the rest of the way. And that’s just one of many, many examples of how people in this community warmed our hearts.

Like any fundamental truth, we hear it so often that its meaning becomes diluted. And we start to equivocate – “Yes I know that, but…” Unlike money, status, power, fame, whose effects tend to wear off quickly and then we aspire to the next tier, the effects of people around you are absolute. There’s no getting used to good people, or bad people.

This is an empowering bit of knowledge. It means as long as we have our little family and surround ourselves with good people, we can be happy. All the rest is extra.

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