I hear people talking about how crappy the world is and how it’s all going to blow up soon. But then I’ll attend a birthday party or some other function, and I’ll witness tremendous joy and happiness. Even if only for a moment, people sharing smiles and laughter and enjoying a happy slice of time reminds me the real point of life. And of recovery.
When someone spirals into Hell riding the addiction bobsled, it’s all too easy to think that life sucks. But even if we experience moments of anguish, there’s a tendency to think that the only point to life is to suffer. What’s worse to me are those people who wish for the end of time simply because this world isn’t perfect, according to their judgment. They look around and see people depressed or addicted or gay and preach that the world is in fact living in “end times.” I can’t help but wonder if life has any meaning for them; I can’t help but feel an intense amount of pity for their bitter hearts that do little more but seek evidence of why life sucks and should end. They probably believe themselves superior to the rest of us simply they because they belong to some religion or another. In their mind, when the end comes, they’ll head straight to heaven riding their religious wings.
For me though, life is a beautiful. I see suffering and I hurt; I don’t like the violence of today’s world. But in spite of all the bad juju, or even because of the bad juju, I have gotten the privilege of witnessing great love and great hope. Every single time a mother or father or aunt approaches me about someone they love, I relish their passion. I have o doubt that they’d welcome their own death if it meant their son or daughter or nephew or friend would be free from addiction. There’s no giving up, even if the pain weighs on them every day. The love drives their prayers and their actions and they fight for life because of love. They’d give everything if their loved one would smile an engaged smile.
That’s really what I love about life: Engagement. I love people giving of themselves for no other reason than they have a desire to bring joy into life, even if only for a fleeting moment. I love when people are living each moment, not just existing through this hodge podge of experiences. I love when people can not judge themselves for a moment and be ok with just being in a given moment, without anger or oppression or suffering. Those moments happen all the time; I think we’ve become too jaded and cynical to really see them when they happen.
Yesterday, I saw some dude at the traffic light singing and playing air guitar while he waited for the light to change. He had no idea that I saw him nor did he even seem to care. He was so immersed into his music that he was oblivious to anything else going on in that moment. I’m certain that within his enraptured singing he had no judgment of himself or of anyone else. He just sang.
I smiled when we drove off and went our separate ways. Though I’ll probably never see him again, I shared his joy. May not seem like much, but being bombarded by suffering as we all are in this social media culture, I relish each and every smile and laugh that life allows. That’s what I’m trying to convince everyone of: Life is beautiful, if we can choose to see it. Louis Armstrong was right all along: It is a Wonderful World.