Wednesday, June 17, 2020

For Everything There Is a Season

Just heard on the news that happiness in America is at it's lowest level since the question was ever put to a poll. I believe that it said that 50% of those surveyed said that they were unhappy and only 14% said that they were happy.

I have long since given up on the existence of happiness as more than a fleeting moment of whimsical relief. When I feel it, it comes more as a brief memory than as an actual emotion. In that regard happiness is much like the flavor of horehound candy. I have not tasted that candy in over forty years, but every now and then I can taste it--my memory of it is as clear as if it were in my mouth.

Last Saturday we opened back up to giving riding lessons to smaller kids. It was tremendous fun and for the day I felt actual happiness.

I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive for everyone and I am delighted that there are some who can experience both happiness and meaningfulness in their lives. Happiness certainly has its place, but if I had to choose between a life with meaning and a life of happiness the choice would be clear.

The irony could not be richer. The existence of so many unhappy people, living lives of pain and tedium, makes it that much easier for all of us to live a life of meaning.  Opportunities to improve the quality of the lives of others can be found at every hand. The virus, the divisiveness, and the economic catastrophe that this nation finds itself trapped in ushers in opportunities for service that were not so obvious just six months ago.

If memory serves, the eulogy at Momma's funeral ended with these lines:

"When you see hunger, open your pantry. When you see homelessness, open your doors. When you seen need, open your checkbook.

And if you do not see hunger, homelessness, and need, open your eyes."

This is the season for Americans to open their eyes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope that these protests truly DO mean that Americans are finally opening their eyes.
For many of us (white) there has never been the fear of what could possibly happen if one of our children was stopped by a policeman - that it was possible for something so commonplace to escalate into the death of our child - THIS is but one of the thoughts that went thru the mind of George Floyd's or Rayshard Brook's mother & dad. What has happened & BEEN happening to way too many parent's children for hundreds of years should have been not just illegal but immoral.
Giving children the opportunity to have the experiences at Mill Swamp, especially (in my view) with horses is exceptional & I hope ongoing into the far future.
Thank you for all that you do