All These Little Things


Many people have giving me this advice: Take pleasure in the little things.

I think it is good advice. I try to follow it. I find it’s profound advice about things that are not often in themselves particularly profound.

You smile at the child jumping in the puddle and then you laugh because there is a clearly frustrated parent a few feet away.

You clinch your fist and say “yes” when you flip the egg and the yoke doesn’t break.

You chuckle when you’re rushing to get ready in the morning and you have put two different shoes on.

You stop and say  “mmm” as you sip your hot tea with a splash of honey on a cold day. You know life is good.

You notice a curiously artsy pattern in the soap bubbles left when you drained the sink and wonder if Picasso was ever inspired by something so simple.

But then I discovered the Internet and wondered if I was misguided in following this advice. For there on the Internet I saw the exact opposite.

I see people take simple, little things and not seeing pleasure in them but instead injecting them with pain.

People apparently have heated arguments over what way the toilet paper roll is supposed to hang. And they apparently spend time being upset when the roll is not in the “correct” mode and heap scorn on those who do not wish to follow their protocol.

So many examples out there. You just have to start looking. It’s as if people have taken to noticing little details not to find pleasure but to find a chance to be “right.” These people are willing to sacrifice being happy for being right. And not just their happiness but yours. The small and brief boost to their egos is worth ruining any conversation just to be right, as if being right is such a simple thing to know.

And although this goes beyond ruining little things, it’s related enough to mention. I just wonder about people who feel the need to nitpick at technical “errors” in art.

My favorite was an exchange the other day I saw about a musical cover someone did on a solo instrument. First person: “That was just perfect. Loved it.” I presumed he meant it was wonderful experience. Second person: “Well, technically it wasn’t perfect.”

STFU! That’s what I have to say to that. Way to ruin a good moment.

Sorry people, art, just like life, isn’t about being perfect. And the more you view it that way the more unhappy you will be.

Not that your unhappiness is my concern, but you apparently feel the need to spread it. And that, however, is not cool.

Be happy.

About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
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