BEVERLY HILLS — Today, I will let other people talk about politics and economics. I am going to talk about something more important: peace.
By total coincidence, my 60th birthday recently fell on Thanksgiving. It is perfectly apt though, because my whole life is about giving thanks, especially for still being alive and hearty at 60, and full of fight. But as I was asked over and over again what really makes me happy in my life now that I am no longer a young hippie, I only had to think for about two seconds.
Yes, of course, I am primarily grateful that I am in America, shining city on a hill, that I have a great wife and son, that I get to live in peace and prosperity. I would have to be insane not to be on my knees with gratitude to the men and women who fight for us, and I am stupendously grateful to them.
But there is someone very close to my heart who brings me the best moments of peace I ever have, and peace is truly God’s greatest gift: Brigid, my gorgeous German short-haired pointer.
A word about Brigid. She was an abandoned dog. I got her at the Huntington Beach animal shelter.
She is my latest German short-haired pointer, the fifth one I have had, after owning two Weimaraners. Every one of these dogs is a heavenly gift. To lie next to Brigid for an hour in the afternoon, to have her next to me all night, to wake up to her soulful eyes and incredible joy, that is bliss.
I have worked for two Presidents in the White House, been in dozens of movies, played in one of the best sitcoms of all time, The Wonder Years, won Emmies for my quiz show. I have been married to a glorious wife for almost 40 years and we have a handsome, rugged son. This is all good stuff, even great stuff….But….
None of this gives me the serenity that being next to a sweet, loving big furry dog gives. There is a magical connection between dog and human that offers a glimpse of heaven.
It’s Christmas. Time for gifts. You can get the best gift there is — the gift of peace — for free at your local animal shelter or pound and at many rescue societies. You have not fully taken advantage of God’s gifts if you don’t do it. Diamonds are nice and so are clothes and cars. But a loving, sweet dog of your very own, or for your spouse or for your child or parent, that’s the best gift there is. That is the gift of love — warm, unconditional, devoted, peaceful love. There is nothing better.