Would you stick your head in a crocodile’s mouth just for kicks?!
Do you go through life with a skip and a bounce or are you just plodding along?
Something that has always intrigued me is how some people have an infectious love of life, whereas others seem to be like death warmed up.
What makes some people naturally exuberant?
One of the reasons must be our conditioning as to just what is acceptable in terms of being joyous.
Last week, a friend forwarded me an email with some words of inspiration from some spiritual organisation. The email contained a paragraph full of do’s and don’t do’s and usually I just delete such emails but one line really grabbed my attention:-
“…… Get away from the company of materialistic persons. Manifest in the poor, sick, and the distressed…….”
I wondered – what’s wrong with materialistic people? And why manifest in the poor, sick and the distressed?
For instance, were you told to be always “good” by your parents and teachers?! But being good in this context often involved being restrained, quiet and serious. So for quite a few people, parents and teachers often squeezed the joy out of their lives.
Reminds me of this phrase – the meek will inherit the earth. I saw this graffiti once – “the meek will inherit the earth… if it’s okay with the rest of you”:-)
Some people just do not believe in being happy and optimistic.
Have you ever been told not to be so positive, optimistic and happy since it was not going to last?
Some cultures and teachings also talk about the world coming to an end on a certain subscribed day. If your teachers and your elders tell you that the world is going to end in 2 years time, then that kind of takes away your enthusiasm and juice for living today!!!
I think the idea is that in your next life or some afterlife, you have heaven to look forward to and so as to guarantee your ticket, you had better be “good” in this life.
But my point is why wait to experience joy in the next life or in heaven, when you could have it all now?
Here’s a great quote, shared by my friend Jeffrey Tang of The Art of Great Things (do check out his blog today):-
“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and LIVE.” – Ayn Rand
I don’t know about you, but I am not even sure that there is a heaven to look forward to – and so I don’t want to take a chance on missing out on having all the fun and joy I can whilst I am here!
If enjoying my time here means enjoying material things, then why not?
Bear in mind though that I am not advocating rampant consumerism such as what you get in so much of the West and now increasingly in other parts of the world.
Also don’t get me wrong either about what I mean by enjoying your life – I am all for being of service to others and being kind. But why should we be miserable and poor whilst doing so!
Though you have to live and abide by society’s norms and follow accepted rights and wrongs, it is still up to you to choose your own values within that framework. It is your path and your journey.
So form today onwards lighten up – and always remember that life is short and it is a crime to go through life with a miserable face.
Time to stop feeling guilty
One major thing that stops people from having more fun is a sense of guilt. It goes likes this – why should I be having so much fun and joy whilst there is so much misery and unhappiness all around me and in the world at large?
However, get this – it is not your fault others have less or there is unhappiness in the world.
Do you think those who have more than you materially, are stopping their lives just because poor you is in their thoughts?
I am not suggesting a free for all scenario either. Sure, you must have a conscience and have due consideration for others and you should focus on doing good for the world, but at the same time, don’t put your life on hold until a better day, one day, some day, which may never arrive.
Go through life being happy now rather than miserable, make a difference where you can AND enjoy the material things that the world has to offer.
All within reason of course. Make sure to be green at the same time:-)
And just avoid those crocodiles whilst you are out partying – they are not greatly conducive to increasing your joy!Top photo courtesy of A. www.viajar24h.com