Life can be hard. It can be lonely. It can be overwhelming. Sometimes we all need to remind ourselves of who we love, what we love, and why we love them. This post is a love-fest. Who makes your days worth living? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What makes you smile even though/even when everything else is falling to pieces?
I rarely respond to such Facebook question-posts, even one phrased as contemplatively as the above, which was posted by the (adult) daughter of a friend. For some reason, I was in the mood to respond:
Who makes my days worth living: All the kind, witty, intelligent people I know. Also, some of the assholes – I want to live long enough to see them get their due.
What gets me out of bed in the morning: the dang cats – I mean of course the adorable kitties – need to be fed.
What makes me smile even when everything else is falling to pieces: the knowledge that, if I hold on long enough, I will, eventually, read or hear a really bad pun and/or fart joke.
Yep, she got me. Not only did I respond, I…wait for it…began to think (gasp!) about the possible responses to those questions.
I thought about how complaining is easy…not to mention, sometimes fun.  Also, with The Way Things Are These Days, ® if you’re not complaining about the terrorist/politicians/greedmongers, it’s likely you’re not paying attention.
Then I thought about how kvetching about the world being full of/run by asshats is easier than noticing or remembering how many remarkable, fantastic people are out there, wearing a different kind of hat.
And I don’t mean remarkable as in curing brain cancer or discovering a renewable, non-polluting energy source.  Remarkable as in the quiet and consistent kindnesses from, and perseverance of, seemingly unremarkable people.
I was thinking specifically of those people who, without announcement or fanfare, without seeking publicity or credit or even recognition on behalf of a religious or business institution, regularly and consistently help other people.
“I am a humanist, which means in part that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.”
(Kurt Vonnegut, in his essay collection, A Man Without a Country,)
I continue to meet humanists and Freethinkers who devote a good portion of their lives to helping individuals and the larger society – they seek to fill what gaps need to be filled, not because they are motivated by any kind of punishment/reward dogma, but because it’s the right thing to do. They do good for goodness’ sake, often helping, for example, the Hungry Old Man who would gladly accept a free meal and then turn around and just as gladly condemn the driver of the home meal delivery van to some kind of unpleasant afterlife if Hungry Old Man found out the driver was a “godless atheist” who does not profess any religious creed.
It’s also incredible to truly consider the ramifications of people going about their day, trying to live simply, do good, minimize harm, and live out their rational, Freethinking beliefs, when they are a minority,  surrounded by superstition and irrationality, in a world which often seems to champion ignorance and obedience over knowledge and free inquiry.
I see these people; I am lucky to meet and know them. And I read about those who live in other countries and pursue the same goals, doing good and fighting for the right to live Bright, in societies and cultures where it can mean death to disbelieve or even question…and I am humbled and grateful.
And I think to myself, like the song says, what a wonderful world.
Let’s all pause for a moment, as unicorns of peace, harmony, happiness and appreciation fly out of our butts.
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May you elevate yourself from off of your haunches on this beautiful spring day;
May you deem the day beautiful no matter the weather and get yourself outside;
May you be fortunate enough to hear the call of the red winged blackbird,
and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 And also life extending: the more you complain, the longer you live. Or rather, it just seems longer to everyone around you.
 Not to discourage such efforts – if you’re working on solutions to those problems, yee haw and keep at it!