What does SCIENCE say just about all Human Lives on the Planet are Missing Right Now, that is absolutely CRUCIAL to a Life Well Lived?
Short answer: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
SCIENCE doesn’t say ANYTHING about that.
So I’m going to tell you.
(Disclaimer: I haven’t surveyed the thousands and thousands of articles in Psychology Today and all the social science journals out there. It’s quite possible, even probable, that they do have something to say about this.
But I also know that you don’t really need to read all those articles, or any of them, for that matter. This ain’t rocket, um . . . . . psycho science.)
Everyone feeling nice and relaxed?
Enjoying the summer?
Of course you are. What could there possibly be to worry about?
Let’s see now. Why, there’s . . . . . weird viruses, an impending war on the India/China border, nutters in the world’s White Houses, Black Lives Matter, the RCMP shooting indiginous folk (again) . . . . .
Plenty, really . . . .
I’m a lucky man. The front of my house is largely south-facing, so in the summertime I like to take my morning cup of jolt and sit out front in the morning summer sun.
And I’ve been doing it the last few weeks.
Maybe it’s the power of nostalgia. Maybe the good old days are nothing more than that: old.
Somehow these last few warm summer mornings have felt nothing like the warm summer mornings last summer. Or the summer before.
Too damn much to fret about.
There’s a big water park in upstate New York, somewhere the other side of Buffalo. It’s got a big campground in it, so’s you can go there for a weekend, or however long you book for, I guess.
One summer, pre-Covid, pre-9/11, pre-internet, pre-everything evil in the world . . . . .
Recently married, and with a tiny tot to tote, the wife and I packed off there with some friends.
Most of the water slides were of the high adrenalyn variety. You know the ones. When it’s finally your turn to go, you suddenly realize you’re three thousand feet above the earth, about to accelerate through the sound barrier, and you discover that you are still susceptible to panic attacks.
The scariest of these was literally a sheer drop, curving out to a long straighaway.
Nicknamed The Enema. (I’ll leave that to your imagination.)
Terror for about 1.8 seconds, followed by the equally terrifying realization that you need to get to the loo, which is a whole 100 metres away.
But my fave was the complete antidote to adrenalyn:
Grab an inner tube each, link up with yer mates, and drift along lazily for several minutes.
Bump into the neighbour’s tube, and kick off conversation with people you’ve never met before.
Jokes. Chit chat. Catch up on all the gossip. Pretend that the world was perfect.
Forget all about . . . . well never mind! Cuz you want to forget about it, doncha?
All that was missing was the six pack of Sleeman’s. (They didn’t allow that kind of thing. Killjoys.)
And every few metres, there was a sheer drop of about a metre, enough to dunk you out of your inner tube, into another lazy pool, maybe accompanied by dumping your spouse out of her inner tube. Resume drifting.
And there was much rejoicing.
Rinse (literally), repeat.
I could have spent the entire day that day. And maybe we did. It was a long time ago.
The detox, the chillin’, the reconnecting with good mates . . . .
All of that has gone out the window, in this summer of 2020.
And some would argue: That’s the way it should be!
Covid-19 took my aunt, my grandmother, my brother, or maybe even my child, Doncha know?
I’ve had it to HERE with the cops killing and abusing my people!
And I’ve really had it with [ ]!!! <---- INSERT: Trump, BoJo, Trudeau, insert whichever politico’s causing all your problems.
I get it.
Here’s the kicker:
By giving up all expectation of any joy today . . . .
Are you demanding that nobody else feel any joy today either?
And are you handing your enemies all the power to kill your joy tomorrow?