Fred: "What right do you have to be miserable? You're rich enough."
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." - The Princess Bride
You would be very hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't had some grief, pain or other misery in their life, but you can probably easily find examples of people who can be happy in spite of their poor circumstances and those who are miserable in spite of their riches.
My daughter is friends with one of the sweetest, most childlike (without being childish) people I know. Everything she draws has an aura of cuteness. To the casual observer, the only clue to the darkness in her is the fact that she likes really heavy metal. Her innocence is so precious that her friends will tell anyone who tries to destroy it to back off in now uncertain terms. For the past few years, she has lived with a good family that has legal guardianship over her. It has been through conversations with her foster mother that I have some idea what this young woman's early life was like. With most people, I can say that while I haven't been exactly where they are, I have been a few houses down or a block or two away. In her case, imagine living with the craziest relative you know, while in an active war zone - and you just might have some idea what her childhood was like. While I have personal familiarity with some of the architecture of her life, most of the rest of it I only have the familiarity of a war correspondant in comparison.
If anything, her sweetness is one of the main things that kept the misery of her life from totally destroying her. It is no wonder that my daughter and her other friends fight so hard to keep that sweetness alive. Because truth be told, while she may be innocent in many ways, she has experienced more evil than many who parade their "emo-ness" can even fanthom. Her sweetness is not an act of avoidence - it is an act of bravery.
To often we shy away from joy and innocence because others try shame us away from under the guise of calling it "childish", "quaint", "silly", "hokey", and various other snobbish comments. It takes bravery to embrace sweetness and joy, while living in a culture that praises negativity and jadedness. It's no wonder that many people have no clue how to turn Life's lemons into lemonade; most of us don't recognize Life's sweeteners even when they are labelled for us. And a lot of people expect the lemonade to be made and given to them, completely unaware of how much better lemonade is when it is sweetened by ourselves to our own individual tastes. And sometimes Life doesn't give us lemons; sometimes it gives us cream of wheat, medicine, treackle, habenaro peppers, or crabapples.
And there are many types of sweeteners in Life. Nature uses more than just sucrose (refined sugar). She uses glucose (honey), lactose (milk), fructose (fruit), and others.
So today I am going to share some of the musical sweeteners that are currently just right for my life at the moment:
- "I get ten thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs." - Firefly by Owl City
- Looking out my backdoor by Creedance Clearwater Revival
- In My Wildest Dreams - Moody Blues
- Never Gonna to Give You Up by Rick Astley. Yes, Rickrolling doesn't annoy me - I actually enjoy it. 'Tis like trying to injure a volcano with a flame thrower or stopping a hurricane with a water cannon! FEAR ME, PUNY MORTALS!
- Dragostea Din Tei by O-Zone
- Run, Runaway by Slade
- I Don't Feel Like Dancing by Scissor Sisters
Now, what sweetness exists in your life? Please feel free to share, so others not only learn of other sources of sweetness, but take courage enough from your example to embrace the sweetness in their lives.
Cross-posted to my other blog.