The disciples came unto Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
What’s the difference between a child and an adult? An adult believes himself in control, tasked with full responsibility for his own well-being, believing himself knowledgeable and experienced in the ways of the world. Whereas a child believes he’s not in charge, has no responsibility but to play, and is always looking to extend the fun-times. A child knows he doesn’t know everything.
The difference between a child and an adult is the seriousness in which each plays. An adult simply loses the variety and levity in his playtime, selecting narrowly focused games while wearing the same costume daily. The adult imposes severe limits on his abilities and the available outcomes. The adult attempts to maintain a strictly logical course of events. The adult thinks getting to the end is the point and rushes accordingly.
To be as a child, is to be playful, unrestrained by self-imposed boundaries, freely imagining the best to come. It’s to know there’s no actual end-goal but the act of play itself. To be as a child is to realize one’s lack of control and overall ignorance within the world — to exist despite one’s feebleness, thankful for being well-cared for. To be as a child is to be inclusive of others, inviting them to play, sharing the fun. It’s to extract enjoyment from each activity and interaction, to smile and laugh.
I choose to perceive existence as a benevolent experience.
I choose to envision a delightful path created just for me.
I choose to enjoy and appreciate this path I travel.
I choose to feel protected and nurtured along the way.
I choose to recognize resources as gifts given generously.
I choose to see life as a source of love and fulfillment.
An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Daily Beacon.
Dear Rich, if I’m constantly struck by annoyances, how can I deal with this? Sometimes I smell nasty things or I get injured or I find myself surrounded by idiots — how do I get away from this conveyor-belt of aggravation?
If you’re emotionally activated whenever a certain condition arises — energized, hyper-focused, moved to action — then it will keep happening — you’ll be caught in a loop. For instance, if you’re activated by disgust, you’re sure to find something objectionable.
You must face these initially annoying circumstances with dispassion. No anger or frustration, no sadness or despair, just do whatever the situation calls for and move on. And if afterwards, related images or ideas dance through your mind, kick them out, finding something else to focus on.
We should ever be directing our thoughts to entertain items that evoke enthusiasm and amusement rather than exhaustion and dissatisfaction. It is much more preferable to be in a positive loop than a negative one. And so we must practice molding our mind to receive the things we enjoy.
As we watch ourselves, signs of annoyance often appear, and with repetition we can quickly recognize their presence by heightened emotion. Catch it, call it out and shine the light, but be forgiving, gentle, and send it on its way. Then look to fill the void with something lighthearted. In this way dear reader, your habit of annoyance will fade.
The modern battlefield is located within the collective imagination of mankind. Its soldiers are the influencers that impart particular narratives within the minds of followers. Whoever tells the most persuasive tale wins. But whose side are you on, those that paint with dower grays and sullen blues — or those that paint with golden hues?
The war is raging before us, yet if you step aside, apathy favors darkness. Step into the light, reflecting the brilliance for all to see. Illuminate the shadows and they disappear. But be vigilant as others work to cast more shadow in light’s way. Night fills half the day remember, therefore your work is never done.
The battle before us is outrage versus calm. There are those that stir the pot just to witness turbulence. Stirring in the opposite direction only results in splashing and spilling. Within a vast liquid, a tiny spoon has no effect — such spoons therefore seek to segregate wholes into smaller portions. Unite these parts and the spoon is lost within an ocean.
Do not attack the spoon — as another is always waiting. Attack the boundaries, destroying that which divides, causing the whole to come flooding in, washing away the spoons. Walls block the light — undermine their foundation, allowing them to collapse under their own weight. Follow the resplendent path, for those advocating cooperation and unity do good works.
Weaponized positivity is the use of unabashed optimism and cheerfulness to piss off others. I recently mentioned my dislike of Pollyanna-style positivity. But having just watched the 2003 Pollyanna movie, my mind has been changed. I am at my core a curmudgeonly rebellious naysaying pessimist, so the idea of weaponized positivity excites me. What better way to utterly destroy someone’s attempt to defeat you but by enjoying yourself despite their greatest efforts? Oh the abject horror and helplessness they’ll feel as you only smile at their futile straining.
And for those so disturbed by the ugliness of life, what greater FU can one give but to find enjoyment despite the despair that surrounds? Things not going your way? Enjoy it anyway! F*CK YOU LIFE! Oh the power we can wield by simply enjoying our circumstances. If we do not bend in our quest to select something to savor in each situation, then we win. Think of the Whos in Whoville as the Grinch tried to steal their Christmas celebration — they persisted nonetheless, utterly frustrating and defeating him with their own joy until he had no choice but to succumb.
This is the revolution to join: the fight for hope and happiness. But the enemy does not reside outside ourselves, oh no. It is an ever present foe that seeps into our thoughts. Yet with vigilance we can overcome, destroying our dour attitude whenever it rears, striving to trust that goodness underlies everything, and always finding an aspect in every occasion that elicits delight.
There’s a cruel lie we often tell ourselves, that hopefulness will ultimately fail in its fruition and the resulting disappointment will cause all sorts of misery. Additionally, we’d better brace for not getting what we want, or do ourselves the favor of not imagining the outcomes we desire in the first place. But hopefulness, whether fulfilled or not, is a source of happiness.
For example, “Rich, one day you’ll live in a place you prefer surrounded by all the things you love.” The cruel lie would say, “You idiot, that can’t happen, you’re stuck right where you are — and stop thinking about all the things you’ll never have because it’ll only make you sad — keep those fantasies locked away.”
The better option is to relish the wish, to not only allow it to circulate through thought, but encourage it. Daydreaming is like watching a pleasant scene soaked in warm hues of the summer sun on a lazy afternoon. We often delight in scenarios we never expect to manifest, we witness them all the time in books and movies.
So who cares if it comes true, we can enjoy the dream itself — and if it does materialize, that’s great too. In every instance, always choose hope over despair — it’s the choice of happiness over sadness. As is said: if surrounded by darkness, should we not seek the light? But if brightness is not to be found, at least we can imagine a well-lit mind.
Take a good hard look at everyday people. People are not practical survivors. People are weak and absent-minded. It takes an extensive stretch of the imagination to believe that people are capable of taking care of themselves. People have extremely limited skill-sets, limited tools, limited attention-spans, limited memories, a limited ability to cooperate, and a limited ability to cope with hardship. In short, people are clueless.
Yet people survive. Not only do they survive, but many seem to thrive. Huh? What this demonstrates is the unreality of existence. The world is not reasonable — it just plain doesn’t make sense. I have no doubt that if life didn’t lead me along, I’d surely meet my demise at every turn. Despite my lack of knowledge and skill, I’m effortlessly gliding through life as if on an amusement-park ride.
There is no survival of the fittest. We’re not brutes scraping together every morsel we consume — and we never were. Not survival, but existential crisis has been the crux of our problems since time immemorial. We’re confused bundles of awareness struggling to understand what this is we’re observing.
But once we see this world for what it is, suddenly it all makes sense. Ceaseless questions are answered. Fear evaporates. Happiness and belonging sets in. We’re home. There was no mistake, we really are meant to be here. We see our fellow bundles-of-awareness and wish them well on their particular journey.
If life was truly tough we’d be crushed in an instant. It’s not life giving us a hard time, but we ourselves applying undue pressure. When we stop struggling, we become free of the artificial restraints we’ve constructed. When we finally trust in the goodness of life, we experience the lighthearted life that’s been embracing us the entire time.