What if there’s not enough happiness in the world to go around? What if it takes someone else starving for bliss for me to get my full ration?
I worry about this balance of good vibes whenever I receive bad news on a perfect day. I’m whistling down the sunny-side of the street, high on a fresh pay raise and the prospect of farmers market beignets, when a friend calls in tears over failed romance or a family feud.
Whenever I find harmony in my place here and now — embrace this quiet existence, find just the right level of connection with long-distance friends and across-the-office coworkers, commit to daily exercise and appreciation of sunsets — things seem to go terribly wrong for someone close to me. Breakups and breakdowns and minor car accidents derail friends and family while I float, slow motion, bathed in angelic light, through the scrum of tough living.
I know it will be my turn for disaster and dreariness next week or next month, but it kills me to think I could be sharing just a little bit of my current peace of mind with someone right now.
Please know I would if I could. I would bake peace into a plate of brownies for you and write it in the sky in butterflies and stars. Maybe if we each keep just a little bit of bliss in a safe, warm place — somewhere between the stomach and left kidney — there could enough to please the whole world.
If you’re in the mood for something incredibly sad but also incredibly inspiring, read the final column of Marina Keegan, a recent Yale journalism graduate who died in a car accident last week. And a previous piece that, even though I never met her, restores my faith in like-minded writers and people in general who strive to live with kindness and ambition.