Friday, July 7, 2017

Laughter for all

We have very much enjoyed the first two episodes of "Anne with an E" on Netflix. Many people know the story "Anne of Green Gables" (1908) by the most read of Canadian authors, Lucy Maud Montgomery.  "Anne with an E" is a modern version of the excellent story, written by today's Moira Walley-Beckett.  The actual life story of the author of Anne of Green Gables is no walk in the park and has plenty of sadness and loss.

Another writer of great messages is Karen Maezen Miller, author of "Momma Zen", "Hand Wash Cold" and "Paradise in Plain Sight".  I have read her books and I follow her blog.  Whether you are a Buddhist teacher in California or a farmer on Prince Edward Island in Canada's Maritime, you may have been raised on Stoic principles of bearing pain and loss with little emotion.  There are many traditions of silent tenacity, somber forbearance, and tolerance of difficulty and sorrows.

I salute those traditions.  I second them and support them.  I feel confident that pioneer traditions of hard work and steady effort carried settlers across violent seas and hostile continents.

Some people emphasize the existence of tendencies today toward what is often call an attitude of entitlement.  I think the idea is that people today are soft, pampered and defeated by insignificant obstacles that fall in their way.  I am not convinced that is true.  I know you can look at youth today.  Stuck on their phones and even corrupting their elders into hours of gossip on Faceblank and Tivvel. There are traditions of toughness but few of joy, of laughter, of love and appreciation.

You can go down the path of mourning for yesteryear if you want, but I say it is worthwhile enjoying what we have.  Take a look at the former loss of young parents to death, the poverty of the 30's, the steady fight to make the government helpful instead of hateful.  Note the admittedly slow but happily real, steady and motivated improvement of rights respected and wrongs righted.  Note the higher levels of communication and greater respect for all minds.  Celebrate the advances of science and medicine, of wit and clever merriment.  Don't spend too many hours in fear and anger.

Each time you get a good chance, laugh!  Smile!  Compliment!  Thank! I know it isn't what your grandfather did, but you can do it!

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby