There once was a very little Blue whale. Very little is, of course, a relative term, as Blue whales generally weigh about 150 tons, and this one still came in at around 40 tons.
Which may not seem very little to you or I, but it did to this particular Blue whale. This Blue whale, who went by the name "Morty", always felt a little intimidated around other Blue whales, even Blue whales that were Pygmy Blue whales made Morty feel small.
Morty was not very happy when he felt intimidated, so he took to staying away from other whales. He even stayed away from Beluga whales that he was nearly three times the size of, simply because they would always ask him why he wasn't hanging out with the other Blue whales.
This self-imposed isolation from his fellow whales made Morty a very lonely and bitter whale. Most of the other denizens of the deep who were not whales would tend to give Morty a wide berth as his size, though small for a Blue whale, intimidated most other aquatic life quite a bit.
One afternoon, as Morty was casually straining seawater through his baleen for a nutritious lunch of krill, a Fin whale swam past humming a joyful tune. Morty stopped dining for a moment and watched as the Fin whale did a few flips and turns as it swam through the murky green ocean, and wondered to himself what could possibly be making that Fin whale so happy.
Morty had been lonely and bitter a long time, but suddenly he decided right then and there to call out to the Fin whale and ask if it wouldn't mind sharing the secret of its happiness.
With a series of short oots and beoows, Morty managed to catch the attention of the Fin whale, and it turned and headed back towards Morty.
"Hello," said the Fin whale to Morty, "What's up?"
"Oh, erh, uhm, Hi", said Morty, a bit nervously. "I just noticed you swimming by humming quite a happy tune and I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing with me the secret of your happiness?"
"Well", replied the Fin whale, "It's really no secret. It is, in fact, something well known to one and all - though I think maybe it's a little under appreciated."
Morty looked at the Fin whale curiously and said, "Whatever can you mean?"
'Under appreciated, as in not everybody is able to appreciate it. Look, what's your name kid? I'll ask you a few questions and see if you are able to appreciate it."
"Uhm, my name is Morty. What's yours?"
"Elias. Pleasure to meet you Morty. Now, tell me something Morty, have you ever held a grudge?"
"A grudge? What do you mean? Have I ever been mad at someone?"
"No Morty, not just mad at someone - hey, we all get mad at someone. I mean held a grudge, as in, you got angry at someone or something and stayed that way, no matter what, just stewed and simmered in your anger as if it made you stronger or better than whatever you were angry at. There may still be someone or something you're angry at now, in fact."
"Hmmm..." Morty pondered. "You know Elias, that is an awfully personal question."
"True Morty, true, but you asked me what the secret of my happiness was and if you want to know, you're going to have to answer some questions."
"Uhm, okay, I do want to know, so yeah, I'll tell you. I have held a grudge, and still do. Against my parents, for not being bigger so that I would have been born a bigger whale."
'Seriously? A grudge against your parents for not being bigger? Do you think not being bigger was a deliberate action on their part? That's a pretty odd way of looking at things Morty, I gotta be honest with you."
"Well, it's true, if they had been bigger, I would have been bigger."
"Alrighty, that's an interesting take on the good fortune to be born healthy and intelligent. Tell me Morty, did you have a lot of friends growing up?'
'No, not really. I mean, I knew other whales from school and such, but I never had any real friends. I always thought the other whales felt like they were better than me. I hated just about every whale I grew up with. I decided I didn't need other whales around me for nothing, no how."
"Okay, okay, no need to get testy. What do you do for fun Morty? Have any hobbies? Play any sports? Like to play Checkers?"
"Well not really...I never even tried to play with any of the whales I grew up with, as I always felt too small. My Mom and Pop always wanted me to join the Whale Scouts, but I hated the thought of being around so many whales bigger than me. You know, these question aren't making any sense at all. What's the point of them?"
"Right. I'm beginning to sense you may not appreciate what it takes to be happy Morty, I don't think it will help you to know it at all."
"What do you mean? You haven't even told me anything yet, how can I know if I can appreciate it if you won't tell me what it is?"
"Oh, but I have Morty, I have. Indirectly, true, but I did tell you. I asked you about your family and friends, and if you know how to forgive."
"Look Elias, I know I have to forgive Mom and Pop for not being bigger, and I have, really, I have. But forgiving friends I've never had? How can that be done?"
"No Morty, I'm not referring to forgiving your family and friends...I'm referring to forgiving yourself."
"Myself? Forgiving myself for what?"
"For allowing yourself to grow into a lonely and bitter whale Morty. Think about it. No other whale made you feel this way, you chose to feel this way. It's all a matter of choice Morty, all of it. If you truly want to be happy, then answer me one last question."
"Okay, sure, one last question. Go ahead."
"Do you think it's possible for you to choose to be happy Morty?"
Morty stared at Elias for a short while, a million thoughts tumbling though his mind. Over and over he repeated the question: "Can I choose to be happy? Can I?"
After a few moments he spoke up. "I think I can Elias, but tell me, how does one chose to be happy? What is the actual process?"
"It's fairly simple Morty. Just appreciate what you have - you're a smart, capable whale with parents who no doubt love you. You have the ability to speak and you called out to me, so I must assume you can make friends. So forgive yourself for allowing yourself to feel that you were less than other whales because of your physical limitations, and get out there and become part of life. You may not be as big as most Blue whales, but you can go big Morty - you just have to choose."
Morty let this sink in for a few minutes. "I may not be big, but I can go big. I like that. It makes sense! I'm going to go big!"
With that thought in mind, Morty suddenly turned and started to swim furiously. "Hey!" Shouted Elias after him, "Where are you going?!"
"Back to my old swimming grounds Elias, I have to see my parents. They may not have been big whales, but they really are great whales, and I've got a lot of catching up to do!"
Elias the Fin whale smiled as Morty disappeared from view. He did a little flip and started humming again as he swam in the big beautiful ocean. He thought of Morty and hoped he was humming too, the happy tune of a happy whale.