The Best Advice Doris Day Gave Me
Years ago I was inspired to send a letter to Doris Day. Prompted by the sad passing of Frank Sinatra (in 1998), I thought … why not send a letter of appreciation to one of my favorite actresses (while she is still here)? As most of my friends know, Doris Day is one of my all time favorite movie stars. I have seen all of her films countless times. And on cold bleak winter days I like to watch lighthearted movies like “That Touch of Mink” with the dashing Cary Grant or “Pillow Talk” with Rock Hudson.
It was a short note. I introduced myself and explained how much I appreciated her uplifting movies and how I thought that she authentically brought a bright ray of sunshine to her many films. Since she is also an animal lover, I made sure include a photo of me with my pets. In closing, because she has lived an extraordinary life, I asked her one question.
“What’s the best piece of advice you give people?”
I popped the letter in the mail and felt quite satisfied. Maybe she would write back, and maybe not. Either way, I felt great.
But she did write me back.
Doris Day kindly sent me a beautiful hand written note from her home in northern California, thanking me for my gracious letter. And per my request, she included her best piece of advice for me.
She wrote “Gratitude is RICHES. Complaint is POVERTY.”
Wow. Simple and truly brilliant.
This phrase has stayed with me for more than 15 years and it’s a story I happily repeat to friends … and now you.
So thank you Doris Day, for sharing your wisdom and for your generous spirit.
P.S. I found this rare interview from 2011 where Doris Day imparts more of her wisdom. As you may or may not know, she isn’t immune to life’s challenges, but that doesn’t slow her down. It’s worth a listen.