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Laugh When You Can January 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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In a friend’s Christmas newsletter one year, she summed up the year with the following statement:

Life is good, but life is short.  Bad things happen.  Laugh when you can. 

She’s a writer and may have penned those lines herself.  Or she may have been sharing a quote that struck her as profound.

Either way, the message stuck with me, and I shared it with others.

Life is good, but life is short. 

People die unexpectedly.  Several of my childhood playmates died young.  One was electrocuted in a farm accident before he turned twenty.  The other died of a brain aneurism before she reached thirty.

Neither knew they were going to die on the day they did.  They no doubt expected to see at least a few more sunrises before cashing in their chips.

I wonder whether they wasted precious time in their last few days dwelling on hurts of the past, or worrying about the future, instead of enjoying the present moment.

If they had known of their impending demise, they would have had no reason to hang on to anything that had caused them pain in the past.  They would have had no reason to worry about what might or might not happen five days, five weeks, or five years down the road.

Instead, they could have existed solely in the present moment, enjoying  their last days on Earth, with smiles on their faces and laughter ringing from their lips.

Life unfolds moment by moment.

Each moment is a new beginning.  Another chance to “get it right.”  Another opportunity to focus on all that is being offered ~ right here, right now.

My childhood playmates had no idea that they were going to die when they did.  In truth, none of us know how long we will be here ~ how much time we have left.  Someone dying of a terminal illness may suspect that the end is drawing near, but most of us remain entirely in the dark about how many sunsets and sunrises we have left to witness.

If we want to enjoy our remaining time on Earth, we must treat each day as if it were going to be our last.

We must let go of the past and embrace the present.

Quotes to ponder:

The eyes of my eyes are opened. ~ e.e.cummings

It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. ~ Elizabeth Kobler-Ross

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.  By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

We do not laugh because we are happy.  We are happy because we laugh.

The notes I handle no better than many pianists.  But the pauses between the notes ~ ah, that is where the art resides.  ~ Arthur Schnabel

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Choice (Kate Shrewsday) * Celebrate Life * Mindfulness: A Miracle Drug * Your Brain On Bliss10 Happiness Boosters * 13 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happy * Meditation 101 The ABC’s of Happiness * More ABC’s of Happiness * Living Without Regret (Think Simple Now) * Be Here Now