I know a man on the verge of greatness. One big break – that’s all it will take – and his dreams will come true. Then he can relax. Then he can be happy. And it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. While he’s been frantically pursuing the “good life” – much of life’s goodness has passed him by.
Not that he’s alone. It’s easy to do actually.
Especially here in the US where the measure of importance often lies with our employment, our title, our education, our net worth, our neighborhood, to whom we’re related, or what family we marry in to. And so we throw all our energy into these things, fully expecting them to bring us contentment: when we’ve graduated from high school, undergraduate, graduate school; when we’re married, have kids, when the kids have flown the coop; when we get a cat, dog, horse, or pet lizard; when the cat, dog, horse, or pet lizard are house trained; when we buy a house, when we sell the house; when we get that job, raise, or promotion. Then we can enjoy the life that has been granted us.
Yet the more I see, the more I’m convinced we’ve got it all wrong. We’re backwards and upside down.
Perhaps the first step in righting our wrongs is to take heed to the words of French poet Apollinaire, “Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” So whoever we are and wherever we may be – be it atop the peak of triump or the valley of despair – may we choose to live the happiness we seek.