A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked a question on Facebook. She asked, “What are three things that make life worth living.” I can’t remember if I answered the question or not, however, the question did keep going around and around in my mind. What makes life worth living? The question also comes to mind when, in less than a month, three very wealthy, famous, beautiful people with seemingly perfectly marvelous lives decide to commit suicide? Why? Don’t get me wrong. I know life can be hard. There are times in some of our lives that make living almost unbearable. Yep, I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it and I’ve lived it. Maybe it is when one terrible unthinkable thing happens and boom, another terrible thing zooms right in front of you, then slam-bang, another disaster comes racing around the corner and just as you catch your breath… BING, Bang, Boom, catastrophe hits you on the back of the head. So, what makes us go on? What makes life worth living? Believe it or not I think I know. Here are some things that I believe we should hold on to when life gives you every reason to stop trying and give up.
“ART ORGANIZES THE CHAOS OF LIFE.”, WYTON MARSALIS (A QUOTE STATED ON THE DICK CAVETT SHOW.)
Art, all art, lifts us up from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Feeling blue, go to a museum and take a look at the fascinating beauty that humans have created since the beginning of man. Gaze at the paintings, sculpture, drawings, portraits of people through the ages that are long gone but who’s lives are captured on canvas, or on wood or on paper or on walls or on glass. Take a walk down the streets of Chicago and take a look at the genius of the architecture that surrounds you from the far North Side to the far South Side.
The Arts, don’t stop there. Oh no, there is music … from Beethoven Symphonies to Jazz to Rock to the Beatles. Thank God for Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Sit and listen and see if music doesn’t carry you away while it lifts your heart and your spirit to new heights of joy.
Dance, watch a ballet. Watch, dancers practice their art. Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev on tape. Ask your partner to dance, take a dancing class. Turn on TCM and take a gander at Ginger and Fred, notice Bob Fosse in the background? Rita Hayworth as Gilda, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers. Take a second look at Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor. Then try to remember why you were feeling blue.
Then there is poetry, plays, novels, biographies all have the beauty and love and laughter of poets and authors that have taken all real feelings and parts of life and they showed us that we aren’t alone. Others have felt our thoughts and feelings all through history. You aren’t facing life alone…. you are facing what others have had to face again and again. Some awful things have to be faced and lived though. Like it or not. Some great moments … love and laughter and happiness and boredom, illness and death and joy and birth … new seasons. We are here and we have this great opportunity to live this life to the fullest while we are here. What a gift.
Take a walk in the woods, smell the air, walk on the beach, look at the clouds, visit a new town or a new country. Take a drive in the mountains, swim in the ocean, or sit on your balcony and view the life around you with a nice cold glass of wine. Smell the roast that is cooking in the oven. Call your kids or talk to a friend. Flirt with that cute guy or get up your nerve to ask that girl you like on a date. Hug your lover or hug your dog.
All of these things make LIFE WORTH LIVING. It is called Passion. Enjoy the Passion that comes with being alive. Don’t hide your passion. Feel it, taste it, breathe it in, all of the good and all of the bad. Passion is what makes life worth living. Embrace life, art, nature, and human contact. The bad stuff doesn’t seem as bad when you immerse yourself in the beauty of art and let the passion into your soul.
Of course, all of these things revolve around love. That’s it, LOVE. Feel it, grab it, hang on to it, enjoy it, give it to others and keep remembering it and showing it to others… keep finding it anew. So what did we learn about Life? Keep living life, it is really, really, worth it!
Until Next Week…