banner

Friday, March 4, 2016

The art of enjoying little victories


Life is tough. Sometimes it's just one thing after another after another. I never used to be comfortable because I was always looking down the road at more tough stuff coming up. When I got through the latest challenge, then I would be comfortable, then I would be happy.  Only thing is there was always another challenge coming up, so, I would be comfortable, what, when I was dead?

The rock group Rare Earth has a song, I Just Want to Celebrate. The lyrics go:
I just want to celebrate another day of life. Had my hand on the dollar bill. And the dollar bill flew away. But the sun is shining down on me. And it's here to stay.
The idea being, yeah, you lost your money but you're still alive, and the sun is still shining down on you, so celebrate!

I live in Chicago and a few years back during the whole anthrax scare, people were finding what they thought was anthrax anywhere and everywhere, and they were flooding 911 with emergency calls. Mayor Daley held a press conference, reporters peppering him with paranoia-filled questions. One reporter asked about the city's plan if there was a water shortage. Daley pointed to the east and said, 'We've still got the lake (Lake Michigan).' The reporters cracked up.

But the mayor's point was life goes on and let's enjoy what we've got, even in the midst of scary stuff like anthrax and terrorism and the possibility of Donald Trump becoming president.

The Robert Redford movie The Milagro Beanfield War is about a real estate developer who wants to build an upscale resort that will divert the water supply a group of poor bean farmers need to grow their crops. A water-rights battle ensues between the deep-pocketed developer and the poor farmers. It's David vs. Goliath, but in this case David simply can't win.

But the farmers' side wins a temporary restraining order, momentarily stopping the developer's momentum. In a marvelous scene, the farmers' two lawyers watch the farmers celebrate their victory. Then after a while one of the lawyers turns to the other and says: 'You realize, though, that in the long run they're going to lose, don't you?' The other lawyer nods, looks out at the celebration, and says: 'I know. But still, this is something special.'

So that's what I'm saying. The tough times are always going to be coming. Yes, like in the movie, ultimately we're going to lose, but also, like in the movie, we can celebrate and relish those little victories in a major way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by