The Only Way to Respond to Life
I went for a run along the beach at sunset yesterday, foam kissing my bare feet, smooth sand caressing my soles, and the sky exploding with color.
I paused for breath, mostly because the sky, and the Pacific, had borrowed my breath from me.
I stopped and applauded.
This is the only response that life deserves: overjoyed applause.
This morning, wherever you are, whatever life has given you, take a moment to really appreciate this gift, and applaud. I mean, actually applaud.
Then give back to life, something, anything, to show your gratitude for this miracle you’ve been given. Do anything: be kind to someone, create something, be gentle with your children, do something where your body feels full of life.
We often not only take life for granted, but complain about it. Life isn’t perfect, work is boring, people are too rude, drivers are idiots, no one gets me, I have too many things to do. But goodness, look around you! What a wonder life is! If only we would take the time to see it, to really appreciate it, and to applaud.
This moment is a ridiculously generous miracle. Give it up, folks, for life.
original post by Leo Babauta, here:
My conversation with a Yale grad. He was accepted to every Ivy League, and is currently at one of the top occupations in Microsoft.
Him: I know right now, everything seems so unfair. You need to study, all to get compared with other people. Your future is dependent mostly on whether you go to this school, major in this thing, receive this much money, or get this job. I know. I was there, I was you. Studying my ass off for an easier life. You're told that everything right now is the most important, that you need to get As, go to a great college, have an amazing job, generate immense revenue, therefore become happy. But, there's just one thing that I failed to understand. And let me tell you, there are barely any things that I do not understand. Yet, I have no idea why I'm not happy. From a young age, you're told to take these steps and if you succeed, you'll reach happiness. It's not true. I've done every step every mother would tell her child to do, to become, but here I am, unhappy. After many years of trying to find where I went wrong, I realized that I had been looking in the completely wrong place.
Me: Then where do you look?
Him: At your friends. Your relationships. Your family. Your coworkers, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your social life. Many of the richest men in the world aren't happy, why? Because they spent all their lives trying to achieve happiness in the wrong place. You have a ton of money, great. But in the end, we're all sitting in our rocking chairs, and nobody cares who had the most money or who went to the best college. It's about who had the most fun. Who had the most people to look after them, who had the most to look after. The happiest are the ones that have people to call in times of trouble, the ones that had the time to spend with their family and feel all that love. That's what people lack! Love. When you're on your deathbed, everything doesn't matter anymore you see. You'd want people that love you to be around you, to be comforting you, to tell you about all the great things you did for people. You don't want to be alone, with what? A degree? Cash that will never be used? Nobody ever says "wow, I went to a great college and therefore I'm satisfied" in the end. Only the lucky ones get to say "wow, I was surrounded by love my whole life. My time on this earth was beautiful."
Him: But you know, I'm not telling you not to get into a great college or not to do any of the things society tells you to. Go for it, it pays off! It doesn't give you happiness but it takes a lot of stress off your shoulders. All I'm saying is don't make it your everything. If you don't get in somewhere good, don't stress about it. As long as you're okay with the people around you, you're going to be fine. I'm sure of it. Priorities change in the end. We're only people.