Nothing but sandwiches

Tanner - Belmont, Michigan
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure

I believe in nothing but sandwiches.

When I was first asked to write a “This I Believe” essay, I had no idea what to write. What I thought was, “I live my life by no principle, as every principle is wrong sometimes. I have no strong moral convictions, as I don’t want to inadvertently punish someone who hasn’t done anything wrong. I generally don’t feel strongly about anything at all, as I already have the freedom to take naps and eat sandwiches—what more could I want, other than fulfilling my daydreams about superheroes and friendship?”

Now I realize that I’ve been contradicting myself this whole time. “I believe in nothing,” I thought, but that’s precisely what I do believe in. If you can do nothing, do nothing; if you have nothing, make the best of nothing. This I believe: happiness is nothing but napping and sandwiches. And as long as I’m reasonably careful, nothing can take away my sandwiches.

Why don’t you want more? you ask. There’s more to life than sandwiches! But no, all of life is a sandwich. There is no greater joy in my mind than to bite into two flavorful cushions of bread, the soft walls that protect the filling from the outside world, then to be greeted warmly with mayonnaise and thinly sliced deli meats; cheerfully with the slightly bitter wetness of lettuce and tomato; excitedly with spicy mustard and a sour pickle afterward. This, my friend, is luxury. If all you need is a little cheering up, this is what you go for.

But what if you need more than a little cheering up? Why, that’s where naps come in. Sometimes you just feel horrible—you’ve just been fired from your job, your house just burned down, your spouse just divorced you, your teenage son just drove your car into the ocean with a trunk full of fancy electronics and sandwiches—and you feel like everything in your life has vanished. But don’t worry. There’s nothing you need to do to cause your car to rise up from the ocean depths: it’s gone, whether or not you do anything about it. So don’t do anything about it. Just take a nap instead. And when you wake up, I promise there will still be plenty of sandwiches. And this, I believe, is the key to happiness: nothing but sandwiches.