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Monday, May 23, 2011

Curing Sadness

I haven't really had much to talk about lately because everything that has been on my mind has been slightly on the personal side, but I think I finally found something worth while to talk about.  I was at Relay for Life the other day, which is an amazing benefit that is set up to raise money and awareness for cancer, and I was walking when I saw a tent that was called "The Bucket List".  Because all of the tents were movie themed I sort of already knew the concept of the booth.  The movie is about two older guys that basically are trying to achieve everything that they have on their lists before their time is up.  But at the tent they had this easel with a huge blank piece of paper that asked "What's on your Bucket List?".  People has already written things like get married, sky-dive, and climb Mt. Everest and my friends were with me and they wrote things like see my favorite tennis star and save a life and all of these things got me thinking.  What do I really want to do before I die?  What is important enough to me that I would write it down on a list and really pursue crossing it off?  Well it took me at least a few laps around the track we were walking to figure it out, but I finally did.  What I came up with was that I wanted to cure sadness.  At the time I wasn't really thinking about how achievable that was, I just knew that I wanted to do it.

You see a few of my friends had been going through some personal stuff that was really bringing them down and then everyone at the Relay for Life just made me think how much sadness there is in the world.  It made me think how we aren't just saddened by people, but by diseases, and finances, and our jobs, and there are just so many things that can make us sad and I can't imagine that there wouldn't be an antidote for them.  So the more I thought about the true size of this task I had put out for myself I knew I had to think big.  What I have decided is that in curing sadness all you have to do is increase happiness.

To me, happiness is like a spark.  It bursts into brightness and astonishes you, so much so that you want to touch it.  But you know that you can't because it is red hot, and before it has been altered by anything, it's gone.  That is, unless, it touches something that will catch fire.  And that is what I want to be, flammable.  Because the more people that learn to become flammable, the more sparks will turn into fires that illuminate the world with happiness.  I want to burn up all the cold sadness with our fires and live in this world that I've always dreamed about where no one has to be sad.  And all it takes is seeing the good in everything, being eternally positive.

Whether it be losing someone you love and rejoicing because they have made such a difference in their time here and have gone on to a better place, or if it's losing all of your possessions in a tornado and being happy because all you have to lean on now is God and the amazing people around you that are willing to help you out, or even if you've just had a bad day, celebrating because you've conquered something that wanted to defeat you.  We have the power within ourselves to make the worst of the worst into the best.  Well I say within us, but what I mean is that God gives us the propensity to do such.  And if we can learn to harness that, and apply it all of the time, we can cure sadness.  And that, is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness

We all search for something in life.  Something to define us.  Something that shows everyone what we're about.  Some people look for it in money, some in fame, some in drugs, some in relationships, and some in religion.  But those people won't ever find it.  Not because they are looking in the wrong places, but rather because they are looking at all.  That's the tricky thing about self definition, is that it can only come from within ourselves.  It isn't about anything material or your legacy or anything like that.  It is more of a feeling, or a simple state of being.  It has more to do with being true to yourself and being happy than anything else.  We can have money, or a spouse, or be famous, or invent something cool, but that won't ever change who we are inside.  Who we are inside can only produce those results, not the other way around.  Being poor and happy is exactly the same as being rich and happy.  We're all together on Earth and what common goal do we have other that the pursuit of happiness?  It is the most basic piece of the human puzzle, but also the most revealing one.  The things that bring an honest smile to your face, the really personal things, they're what we live for.  It is our happiness that makes us human.  Anything beyond that is just white noise.

Here are a few things that make me smile, no matter what I'm feeling:
-Everyone at church dropping their guard and letting themselves become effected by God

-Seeing pure innocence in someone

-Being able to sit with my friends or family in silence but be totally comfortable, just because it's us

-The spark of someone's creativity

-People that are curious enough to ask "why?" in everyday situations

-The zoo

-Someone that knows themselves well enough to admit they're messed up, but also wouldn't trade that part of themselves for the world