What makes the daily struggles of life worth the effort? For me it is those days when you feel truly alive. When you wake up without a worry in the world, and stretch just to feel the life in your body. When the sun seems to be shining for the sole purpose of making you happy and the falling rain is a symphony composed with you in mind. On those days, you take what you are given – your friends, your passions, and your burdens – and you embrace them, making them into something new. It is hard to remember my last final exam or the grade of my last paper, but I will not soon forget the day my husband and I spent watching movies and eating a picnic in the park. Those moments bring the spirit of life close to hand.
Some days, when the problems of the world remind me that tragedy is never far away, it is difficult to recapture that spirit and exuberance that make the task of survival enjoyable. I see rampant poverty and devastation of the human spirit all around me. I want to reach out and fix the world’s problems, but it seems as though I can do nothing with my small reach. I may not be able to change the policies and politics that run the world, but, with the help of my family and friends, I am learning that I *can* make a difference. I can make sure a rambunctious, awkward child knows that they are loved. I can work to stop prejudice, poverty and violence in my own community. I can educate myself so that if I come across a larger opportunity I will recognize it and know what to do. Everyday I can do something I love, even for just a few minutes, slowly learning to live fully. By these small actions, I can make my little corner of the world a little better.
Then, when I find another of those special people who have conquered the art of living, I will be ready for them. And, if enough *living* people come together, the surrounding world could become a place where every person can join in the process of learning how to truly live.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.