Andy over at The Dipso Chronicles has a post up that grabbed me by the collar and shook me out of the consumption induced torpor I’ve been in since the end of the long July 4th weekend. Go take a look and then come on back.
There are no wasted words in this short essay regarding gratitude and of those lacking in this vital virtue but the sentence that really hit home for me was the final one.
“The sun is up and the day is long – we would be wise to do little more thinking than that.”
I’m not a fan of talk radio but the one exception to that rule is in listening to the quiet wisdom of Denis Prager. One of the especially profound bits he tosses to his listeners like candy to common sense starved children is the counter intuitive sounding advice to lower your expectations if you seek to be happy. This didn’t make sense to me for the longest time as I thought that such a philosophy could only serve the purpose of rationalizing failure. What I failed to understand was that when this philosophy is combined with high standards, it is simply a declaration of gratitude. If you aim high and give your best at everything you do with this being an end in itself, expecting nothing but being allowed to try again should you come up short of your standards, then gratitude and happiness will naturally follow. Andy’s essay is infused with this ethic of gratitude. Of focusing on the important tasks of spending time with loved ones. In finding something you love doing and doing it to the best of your ability.
Indeed the sun is up and while our summer days are long, our lives are short. Don’t think about living. LIVE! And then be grateful for the opportunity. It has been my experience that people who follow this philosophy have a smile in their hearts when their time on this earth is through.
Thanks for reminding me Andy.