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“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” – Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

We live in a time where the future is uncertain and pessimism about “whether we will or we won’t” is common place in conversation. We are told as a generation that there will be “no this or that” and fingers are pointed in every direction and at everyone, including ourselves. We have come to believe that we have the power to affect the future but not change the present and the individual, unless he or she has money, has no power over the many.

We question, but do not receive answers. We get angry, but do not revolt. We are human, but we do not think.

And then we are drawn away from the anger and become caught in a torrential downpour of debt, college work, and our own personal trials that the world outside of us becomes an afterthought. Slowly we fall into habits of verbal complaints and negative thoughts pursue us from morning to night and reprieve is done with half-enjoyed naps or misplaced passions.

Then we forget as we spiral into a nuanced state where every victory is forgotten after a day and every loss weighs heavy on the souls trodden by the intimidation of the future and the pessimism of industry and standards of those who came before us.

Within these words of negativity and vengeful spite to the cursed futures, there is a change that is not a task for one man or woman. A change as simple as a happy thought to wipe away the despair, the compliment to reinforce the hard work, and a laugh to forget the fears.

And as we traverse the recesses of a world paralyzed by doubt, there is a beauty that can be found in artful photography, a challenge in solving the cure for an inoperable disease, and the patience in understanding another without question.

When questions of a young child are answered with objectiveness and kindness, we see opportunities to find a happy thought that the present can be changed and the future becomes brightened for you and others that are in the presence of learning. The views of a hardened heart can be shattered with a hug given from an old friend and in turn warms and renews the vows of dreams.

Life is a destination best traveled with friends who can come and go and in fields of fire, ice, and flowers. The created world around you is not a fiction of imagination but a story being told in one’s inner mind and eye.

Do not let go of the fears and lessons in sadness, but learn to appreciate the happiness that you are given more than the losses of life and dreams. Follow down the trodden path and carve forward in one that is solely your own.

Life is a perception of good and bad. Are you the person that gets angry at the red light or celebrates in the green?

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