Stealing from Elaine

No, I’ve not been replaced by pod people. I’ll never be a terribly cheerful person. But I’ve spent too much of my life hiding behind the label of “pragmatist” and not taking responsibility for finding the joy in my day to day life.

“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” – Roger Ebert

I can’t imagine being half as gracious in the circumstances that Ebert talks about in this Esquire interview. It’s fantastically bittersweet, joyful, sad and wonderful. I am grateful for having discovered the Ebert beyond movie reviews in the last few years, I wish I had become a real fan earlier.

It is so hard to approach life with joy rather than cynicism, and it’s something I’m horrible at. But my attitude has resulted in me treating people poorly over the last ten years, even in the midst of treating other people well. After a terrible year at this job in this depressing economy, the only thing I can do is to shape my attitude towards the job, other people and my life in general. I may not be where I want to be, but I can find the joy in where I am, and hopefully help other people find theirs. It’s such a change, and so very very difficult.