spread joy

We exist on this planet for such a short time but are given so many opportunities, despite pain, sickness and suffering, to do good and help with the happiness of others. This should give us hope. Even if we are mired with personal setback, we have the capability, and maybe even the responsibility, to make others happy. It's part of being human.

I see this when I look at photos of people who I know to be beset with suffering, but they still smile, as if in smiling we hold personal stock in the knowledge that everything will be OK.

I see this when I look at my beautiful mother, who at eighty-five has a good word for everyone and how everyone, in return, has a good word for her.

I see this in the intentions of kind-hearted people whose ability to forgive and move on seems to border on the saintly.

And I see this in myself and my (relatively) new found desire to recognize goodness for what it is - the ability to infuse joy into the lives of others, or at least to try.

There is enough pain, suffering, sickness, dissatisfaction and hurt in this world to last us through eternity. In short, our desire to break through and help the suffering of others, with whatever means we have available to us, needs to be greater.

On this very special holiday that Americans call Thanksgiving, make it your personal quest to bring happiness, or joy, or a smile to someone you know who is in need.

Spread optimism. Eschew sarcasm. Rebuke cynicism. Embrace naive joy. Tell someone you love them when it's hard to say, not easy. Pray for someone you know doesn't like you - for their health and well being -  in a way that has nothing to do with their feelings for you.

And be thankful that you are in a position to do so - that your health, your spirit, your heart are big and well enough to be open for people who need so to be blanketed by someone with a big heart, a big spirit, and vibrant health.

And don't do it because you think you are selfless and important. There's nothing that makes us feel better than making others happy, so consider it a wonderful, selfish act. And do it because you know that everyone out there is just as important as you are. Because without each other, it would be a very lonely planet.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends, buona giornata di ringraziamento, with all of my love from my peaceful hill in the Italian wine country.