What 1 thing does SCIENCE say is absolutely CRUCIAL to a Life Well Lived, that almost everyone is missing right now?
What science says? About a life well lived?
Science doesn’t say a BLESSED THING about it.
(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 here's the upshot:
It actually don't matter a whit
You don’t really need to read Anything in Psychobabble Weekly to know the One Crucial Thing to a Life Well Lived.
So tell me . . . .
Are you feeling nice and relaxed, this summer?
Enjoying the warmth and the sunshine? Not a worry in the world?
Weird viruses. An impending war on the India/China border. Nutters in the White Houses of the world. Police shooting people like you (again) . . . . .
Nope, no worries. None at all . . . .
I’m a lucky man. The front door is largely south-facing. So in the summertime, I take my cup of Morning 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 previous summers.
Too damn much Stuff To Fret About.
There’s a big water park Called Darien Lake just east of Buffalo, NY. 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-Just-About-Everything, back when there was Nothing To Worry About . . . . .
Recently married, and with a Tiny Tot to tote, the wife and I packed off there with some friends for a few days.
Most of the water slides were of the high adrenalyn variety.
You know the ones. When it’s finally your turn to go, you all of a sudden realize you’re three thousand feet above the earth, about to accelerate through the sound barrier, and you discover that you really do have the Latest Panic Disorder . . . .
The scariest of these was literally a sheer vertical drop, curving out to a long straighaway. We called it The Enema. (I’ll leave that to your imagination.)
Abject Terror for about 1.8 seconds, followed by the Slightly-Less-Than-Abject Terror that you need the loo. NOW.
And it's a whole 100 metres away.
But my fave was the complete Antidote to Adrenalyn:
Here was the game plan: Grab an inner tube each, link up with yer mates, and drift along lazily for several minutes.
Jokes. Chit chat. Catch up on all the gossip.
Forget that the world isn't perfect.
Forget all about . . . . Man, I can't remember! Aah, whatever . . . .
All that was missing was the six pack of Sleeman’s. (They didn’t allow that kind of thing on a waterslide. 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.
There really was much rejoicing, Monty Python.
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 . . . .
It was SOOOOO good for the soul . . . .
This summer of 2020, all of that has gone out the window
And some would say:
I'm freakin' TERRIFIED!
Covid-19 took my aunt, my grandmother, my brother, my pal, doncha know?
I’ve had it to %^&* HERE with cops killing and abusing my people!
And I’ve really had it with [ ]!!! <---- INSERT: Trump, BoJo, Trudeau, or whichever Political Numpty who's causing all your problems.
I get it.
It's normal to be hopping mad . . . . or sad . . . . . or just bloody worried . . . .
It's normal to feel that way for a day, or two, or three . . . . for a while . . . .
But here’s the kicker:
If you STAY that way . . . .
If you give up all expectation of any joy for too long . . . .
You hand your enemies all the power to kill your joy tomorrow.
You demand that nobody else feel any joy today either.
And that's a Recipe for Permanent Loneliness.
(Not a dish I recommend sampling. Believe me. I've tried it.)
Take That power back
No one can give you That Power. You must TAKE IT.
That's the main thing. That's the One Crucial Thing.