MOUNT PLEASANT - Happiness can be a tough place to reach, so Robert Beezat set out to provide a road map.
A series of letters the Mount Pleasant resident wrote to his two daughters led to a book titled "Knowing and Loving: The Keys to Real Happiness." Long on philosophy and theology, it encourages people to assess what they know, believe and love so they can find their own paths to happiness. A few chapters specifically focus on marriage and parenthood.
Beezat, 68, was Mount Pleasant's first town administrator, from 1985 to 1990. After he ran an unsuccessful campaign for the state Assembly, Beezat and his wife, Alice, moved to Illinois but returned to the Racine area in 2007.
His career, including a recent stint as interim CEO of the Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency, has introduced Beezat to plenty of people suffering in despair. Even the author freely admits he was miserable at times as a young adult, but he's trying to spread a deeper happiness.
"It's more than an emotion," he said. "Nobody's always up, unless you're high on something."
Thoughts on the topic have congealed in his mind over a half-century. Beezat said he's noticed the culture of buying "has left people very sad and empty and not satisfied with life." He stresses the need to balance that by a spiritual component in life and said people should prioritize personal connections as they once did.
"You not only helped each other, you looked out for people in the neighborhood," he said.
Beezat self-published "Knowing and Loving" last summer. He said he has begun a second book, this one on growing up Polish in Chicago.