We are living in troubled times. I’ve even seen recent references to Charles Dickens, hungry orphans, and the ghosts of Christmas past.
While it’s common at the end of each year to reflect on where we’ve been and vow to do better in the new year, I believe it is equally important to simply stop, take a deep breath, look around, and enjoy where we are.
Because no matter how grim things seem, we do live in a beautiful world. This is a great time to stop and enjoy it (and of course to commit to preserve it for future generations).
In fact, I urge you to take two minutes right now and enjoy every word of this version of “What a Wonderful World,” sung by Louis Armstrong (YouTube video published August 7, 2016, by Christophe Letecheur):
As a friend put it many years ago, “There’s a reason we call ourselves human beings and not human doings.”
Yes, to a large extent we’re known by what we do, but who we are – our character, our concern for others, our relationships, our values, our beliefs – is what ultimately determines how we live and what we do from day to day.
I am not about to write a lengthy post about character, or values, or relationships. Today I just encourage you to take advantage of this holiday season to slow down, pay attention to others, look with fresh eyes at the beautiful world around you, and just plain enjoy being alive.
Certainly some of us are more fortunate than others. Most of us (though certainly not all of us) are not living in fear, or starvation, or poverty. Most of us are reasonably healthy. We certainly don’t want to forget our fellow human beings who are in need, but most of us have much to be thankful for.
So for now let’s just enjoy today, and tomorrow – one day at a time. Let’s relish the sunlight, and bask in the reflected warmth of friends and family.
Joyeux Noel! Glad tidings and good cheer! Enjoy the blessings of the season!
And the beauty that is all around us every day:
I’ll be back, in a more analytic and forward-thinking mode, in 2017. See you next year!
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