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What CBS Sunday Morning Has Taught Me

What CBS Sunday Morning Has Taught Me


Launched in 1979, CBS Sunday Morning has been a part of my life. I was 31 years old at that busy time in my life. Long before we were able, I made every effort to watch it no matter the circumstances. Beginning with Charles Kuralt as the host who traveled throughout the United States in a motor home, to Charles Osgood, with his signature bow tie and happy-life outlook, to the still present, prim, and proper Jane Pauley. How can you not feel good hearing the opening theme song with Wynton Marsalis’ recording of Abblasen, on trumpet?

This informative and inspiring weekly show has provided me with current pertinent information, and sharable tidbits featuring stories on the arts, music, nature, entertainment, history, science, and sports while highlighting unique human accomplishments. Very often I’ll share some of these story segments with my four grandchildren.

Having the ability to record the show allows me to watch the 90-minute program a story or two at a time during the week. This also helps me to queue up the segments I want to share with my grandchildren. When I sit them down in my living room and tell them I have a Sunday Morning story to show them, they usually groan and say, “Oh Gram, not Sunday Morning!”  Despite their complaints, I have them watch it anyway. Afterward, they always (and I do mean always!) say, “OK Gram, that was a good one.”

Now that I’m three-quarters of a century old, watching Sunday Morning has offered me a new appreciation and insight. It’s the portion of the show where they feature notable people who have died. Besides including the subject’s name and the work for which they are best known, they also include their age at passing. It does not surprise me now that more than not, their ages are in the 70s, like mine is.

Seeing so many people passing around my age shows me that my time is limited, and the lesson is to make the very best of what time there is.

None of us know when death will come thumping. On the positive side, everyone has the option and choice to live their life with happiness and love. Besides, love and happiness can be experienced in many varieties. Family, friends, cats, dogs, music, writing, reading, painting, gardening and so many other ways.

Recently a friend of mine shared on Facebook a poignant “happiness” passage that tugged at my heartstrings. Mistakenly the passage was attributed to Pope Francis, even though Pope Francis did not write the message (the author was unknown to me), there were several sentences worth noting in this story.

“Remember that being happy is not having a sky without storms, a road without accidents, a job without effort, relationships without disappointments. Being happy is to stop feeling like a victim and becoming the author of your destiny. It’s going through deserts but being able to find an oasis deep in your soul.”

Finding an oasis deep in your soul … how powerful is that?! Become the author of your destiny.Being the author of your destiny begins with the first sentence of what you choose. Happiness is my choice, and I will continue to write my destiny’s final chapters. However many chapters there are.

I will continue to hug my grandchildren, create memories with them, call my friends to see how they are, enjoy glorious sunsets, howl at the full moon, make delicious meals, and write many more stories. I want to do all these things and more. I see so much more in life and I’m not ready to part.

There is one more final part of the “happiness” message beautifully written that I felt was worth sharing.

“Use your mistakes with the serenity of the sculptor. Use pain to tune into pleasure. Use obstacles to open the windows of intelligence. Never give up … Above all, never give up on the people that love you. Never give up on happiness, because life is an amazing show.”

CBS newsYes, life IS an amazing show. And, just like CBS Sunday Morning begins each week with the sound of a trumpet, I like to begin each day with the music of Stevie Wonder, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Taylor Swift, Gracie Abrams, Tim McGraw, and the Carpenters. Music that awakens and lifts my soul. With every breath in me, I vow to begin each day with the sound of my own heart beating with love, joy, and the music of living a happy life.

This week when Sunday Morning features the passing of notable people, and their similar ages to me, I will challenge myself to think about all the good they brought us and how much more I’m still privileged to do because I am alive.

Read more from Pat Burns here


Pat Burns

About the author

Pat Burns is the co-founder of the Orange County Children's Book Festival, a celebrity journalist, film reviewer and a consultant for nonprofits

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