With no end in sight to the frantic buzz of reality, it's important to remember that good things still exist in the world.
These days, I spend more time than I care to admit ruminating on how much of a bummer everything is. Although it may not feel like it, historical perspective indicates fairly clearly that this is the best moment to be alive in the entire span of worldly time. We have to find some silver linings to be able to hold on to our sanity and enjoy the wonders around us.
While we twiddle our fingers and wait for resolution that may never come, we must find ways to cope. I am not willing or able to tune out completely, but I am trying to introduce positivity into my day at more regular intervals. I’m giving thanks for the stuff that is still good. This week, I’m handing out free gratitude, bitches.
An incomplete list of things - old and new - deserving of my gratitude:
my nephew, Bradley
my girlfriend, Kelly
really tall buildings
Arctic Monkeys albums
an Aperol spritz on a summer day
remote start car engines
fishing trips with my Dad
Cheesy Gordita Crunch
The only difficult part of making that list was ending it.
The moment I started thinking about it, the gratitude list became infinite. There are so many goddamn things to be grateful for. I realize that the inverse is also true: the list of bad things is also infinite. There’s nothing I can do to change that, but I can focus on remembering that for every negative, there is a positive.
We live in an amazing time. We are passing through a technological diaspora in which information has become ubiquitous and free. Deindustrialization, automation and information inundation are often emphasized as negative influences on the modern world. When taken individually and specifically, they are truly amazing developments - the culmination of every link in the chain that is human society and culture. If we dedicate more mental space to realizing that, we may just find ourselves in a better mood.
Gratitude is a beautiful thing to be expressed freely. It can take many forms: a home cooked meal, a boquet, a trimming of my nose hair. It may feel better - softer and warmer - when directed towards a loved one, but it need not be limited to sparing my girlfriend the sight of a poisonous caterpillar spilling from my nostrils. Indeed, it can and should be given freely and without abandon as a strategy for dealing with the incessant hot crackle of the world around us.
Gratitude bestows reverence...changing forever how we experience life and the world.
- John Milton
Lastly, I am grateful for you.