Everywhere we turn, we find sadness, disasters, tragedies, sob stories, tear-jerkers, angst, distress, misery, melancholy and woes. The news is full of it, the Internet is full of it, our entertainment (!?!) is full of it. Sometimes, it all gets a little overwhelming. It seems like an airborne plague of negative energy, lurking above us, waiting to come down like a bolt of lightning to ruin our lives.
So take the time, once in a while, to wander away from all of that, in as carefree a manner as you can manage. Yeah, I know, we all have problems. I’m a disabled old fart, worried about where I am going to get the money to buy the new battery and two tires that my old car absolutely demands. I have an incurable neurological disease and am a cancer survivor.
I have a great wife, a marvelous daughter, a loyal (though weird) dawg, food on the table and my mind still works well enough to let me write. The country is being led down the toilet by little George, but I still have a place to live and it even has a good view out over the valley. It is not mine, but so far since becoming suddenly poor I have been able to pay the rent.
Maybe things are not so bad, after all. Maybe, just for the sake of argument, sadness is what sells soap and newspapers. Maybe a lot of us are sadness voyeurs. But, also for a lot of us, there are a plethora of good things in our lives, too.
I grew up dirt poor. Regardless of the unsavory circumstances of my youth, I did not notice that I was poor, underprivileged and living in a Midwestern ghetto. Instead, I noticed how tight our family was, and how much variety there was in my neighborhood. All within the space of a couple of blocks, I could go the homes of the kids I knew and find egg rolls, matzos, Carolina fried chicken, and more. How bad can that be for a kid?
It is obvious that there are problems in the world. It is equally obvious that the big media that controls most of what we see is intent on barraging us with all that misery. But, although most of us don’t have a lot of money and can’t hobnob with the rich and famous, we are doing pretty well.
Stop, once in a while and enjoy that. Even the curmudgeon (see above) is smiling.