I Dare You

Happiness is a challenge; a gauntlet thrown down that very few people care to pick up.  It is difficult, after all, to look at your life, your family, your home, your job, your surroundings, and, after considerable thought and analysis, turn away again with a smile of contentment on your face.

But it can be done for one day.

I know people – here in the three dimensional marketplace as well as in my lively, invisible neighborhood – who have gone through/are going through rough times; yet invariably they have the wisdom and strength to be thankful.  Thankful for friends to talk to; for a home to shelter them; for small favors and large mercies; for pets that silently watch and wait – for no matter what you are a God to them; for the memories that through the years have built a personality as complex as a cat's cradle; for the breath that passes through their lips.

So, keeping all of this in mind, I dare my citizenry in the United States to luxuriate in their gratitude this Thanksgiving.  We are surrounded by details that are magnificent.  To notice only one or two each day would be enough to suffuse our hearts with delight. 

It might not be easy.  It might, in fact, be rather a strain.  Which is a good reason why Thanksgiving comes only once a year.  No one wants the entire United States of America to suffer an anuerism.

There are problems.  There are grievances.  There are worries.  There is anger.  There is loss.  The Cafe Royal is not so elite that it doesn't recognize these things.  But these obstacles are the layers of grit and grime that shadow and destory a great work of art, possibly the greatest:  the human capacity to be happy.

Dorothy Sayers wrote that perhaps the only sin passion could commit was to be joyless.  So I hope that we can spend Thursday in one grand effort of conservation, rejuvenation and celebration.  And – this goes out to my international neighbors as well – to remember that the world is indeed a joyful place.

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19 responses to “I Dare You

  1. Delightful, as ever, Aubrey. I do rather like the idea of suffusing our hearts with delight.
    I think that is the new soy chai latte. How nice would it be to order a Delighted heart suffusion with your raisin toast?

  2. I am drinking Tetley tea in a mug marked 'Sarah' ('Sarah is just smashing, Of top gals she's the pick, Every day, her friends all say, Wow! What a groovy chick!') (My name is not Sarah.) I worked a 13 and a half hour day yesterday. But somehow happiness has crept up on me and for weeks I've not been able to shake it.

  3. I love what you wrote up there, i hope you dont mind if I quote for the Quote Your Neighbor every Wednesday group?

  4. Thanks Aubrey! I agree! We are having friends over. My son is not too keen on the vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner I want to make and will not be thankful.

  5. (tapping spoon) I raise a thankful goblet of bubbling turkey gravy,…
    "To happy thankfulness, and daring gratitude!" (slurp!)

  6. Awesome post.
    I like being happy, even if there's a hurricane whirling all around me. Life really, truly, does rock.

  7. Oh yes," it can be done for one day ", not the december 25th but The Dayn each day given to us like an oxygen bubble. Everyday like everybody is made with daily powder full of energy, wanting, health, humility and horizons !

  8. *drinks gravy with py*

  9. Earlier today, I was thankful for a good haircut, thankful for a holiday. Then the bomb blasts in Mumbai happened.I am thankful that nobody I know has been hurt. I wonder what people whose family/friends have been hurt will find to be thankful for.

  10. I thought the very same thing this afternoon when I heard about the attacks. Although I won't back down from what I said here, it seems that so often the madness of the world puts the lie to the best of our intentions.

  11. maybe that more people were not hurt…. if their family and friends were injured, that they were not killed. and also: this is a BIG one… that there hasn't been any retributory rioting in India… that's what I've been glad for so far.

  12. I agree. I'd been holding my breath about that one, trying not to think it. It is still early, though. Lets hope and pray that good sense prevails.

  13. Yes, happiness is a challenge. It doesn't just come as we imagined on some remote future date. Being grateful every day is another challenge, which we don't even think about most of the time. I am grateful for having you as a neighbor, and I am grateful for having all these nice people around me as my neighbors who remind me every day that the mankind is not completely hopeless.

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