We’re still alive and it’s okay
by Kelvin Wade
Damn you Mayans! I was all set for the fire and brimstone or cataclysmic asteroid that would cause our fitting end. Or maybe the earth’s core would somehow overheat and we’d explode into a zillion pieces like the Death Star.
But it was not to be. Here we are. We deserved an ending. Slavery, the Holocaust, women as chattel, world wars, ethnic cleansing, torture, terrorism, molestation, serial killing, rape, mass murder. And that’s just the stuff we do to each other. We’ve treated the planet like bathroom tissue. In fact, we cut down forests and pollute the air just to make extra soft bathroom tissue. We’ve hunted species to extinction and near extinction. We’ve destroyed habitats and use animals for everything from clothes to food to cosmetics.
Yes, we had a smiting coming. We deserved a flood with no ark.
But you know what? A cop used his own money to buy boots for a man who had no shoes. No matter how it turned out, he opened his heart and tried to do something nice.
The Boss, the Rolling Stones, McCartney and other music legends played their awesome music for free and people opened their wallets at a time when most of us don’t have a pot or a window and gave to help survivors of Hurricane Sandy.
There are so many wonderful things about life on the third rock from the sun.
Children are cutting out snowflakes to decorate the school for Sandy Hook students. And the public is contributing money and sending cards and flowers and gifts. And maybe our leaders will do something to make our kids safer.
And there are people making it their life’s work to heal our planet. People are trying to save species and protect animals from harm.
Others are trying to fight climate change and win the fight over hearts and minds on this important issue of planetary stewardship.
We’re fighting AIDS and other diseases around the world. We’re trying to feed the hungry both at home and abroad.
There are experiences that are universal and wonderful and affirming. What about the feeling you get when you see someone and you know they’re the one? That bubbly feeling in your stomach, the tightness in your throat, the racing of your heart and the electricity of their touch. Remember that?. That super feeling at the beginning of a relationship when you can’t stand to be away from your new love and you spend your time apart thinking of new ways to please him or her. Being loved, needed and wanted.
What about a good kiss and a warm hug?
Good sex. Even bad sex.
Finding out you’re expecting. There’s the sound of a baby’s laugh and the sight of its infectious smile. The feeling of a baby’s fingers wrapped around one of your own. When a toddler hugs you out of the blue and tells you they love you.
Having friends. The excitement of picking up a loved one or friend at the airport. A heartfelt thank you card. Helping someone in need. Making someone cry because they’re so touched. Learning about someone else. Learning about yourself. The look on someone’s face when they love a gift you’ve given to them. Having a long, deep conversation with someone who ‘gets’ you.
What about the kindness of strangers? That nanosecond of connectedness and contentment you feel when you let someone into traffic in front of you and they wave their thanks. Or when a stranger points out the money you just dropped or holds a door open for you.
Imagine that feeling after a good workout. Or when the scale says you’ve lost weight. The feeling of wearing new clothes and sporting a new hairdo. Cleaning out clutter. Contemplative yard work. A clean house.
How about parties? New Year’s Eve parties, Christmas parties, office parties, birthday parties and parties just to party. Wedding cake. Dancing. Slow dancing. Holding hands.
Oh, how we love the feeling of waking up and discovering that we still have two hours to sleep until the alarm goes off. Turning over the pillow to the cooler side. Waking up to the smell of coffee. It’s even better if bacon is in the mix.
The feeling when your team wins. It’s like when you win an award or you get an A on a paper or ace a test. The feeling when you’re hired for a new job. Being good at your job.
Great smells like fresh cut grass, rain, Cinnabon and coffee. Baby’s skin. Puppy breath. New car smell. Thanksgiving. Your mate’s cologne or perfume or just their own scent.
Touch. Holding hands. Hugging. Bare feet in cool grass. Hot tubbing. Swimming in a lake. Taking a shower. Having a massage. Giving one.
Tastes like hot McDonald’s fries straight from the bag before you get home. A burger hot off the grill with all the fixings. Hot fresh glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme. A fresh, crisp green salad. Spicy Mexican. Robust Italian. Chinese takeout. Fresh sushi. Chocolate. Ice cream. Thirty one flavors.
Music. Your favorite band. Songs that evoke memories. That feeling of pandemonium right when a band hits the stage at a concert. Cruising down the highway cranking your music.
Traveling. Seeing natural wonders and magnificent gleaming cities. Flying high above the clouds. Sailing on the bluest of oceans.
Playing board games. Playing computer games. The Internet. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest. Pandora. Your smartphone.
Christmas presents. Finding a package left by UPS or FEDEX with your name on it. Opening your mailbox and finding it stuffed with mail that you’ve been waiting for with not a bill in sight.
Hearing a good sermon. Deepening one’s faith. Deepening one’s knowledge. Reading a great book. Seeing a thought-provoking movie. Cuddling in the theater. Laughing hysterically. Sharing a joke. Finding an inspirational quote. Writing a poem or in a journal.
Pets. Watching my beagle Theo’s paws twitch and kick while he’s dreaming. My Maltoodle Rafi sandwiching herself between me and the arm of my big recliner.
The love of my family, friends and significant other.
So despite the horrors, the unfairness, the sadness and so much that we humans get wrong here on planet earth, I’m still glad you were wrong, Mayans. There’s still a lot to love about us. There’s still a lot to live for.