An Important Life Lesson
As most of my American readers undoubtedly know, the new Roseanne Show (a revival of the long-running hit sitcom which ran from 1988-1997) has been canceled after the star and creator, Roseanne Barr, tweeted some hateful racist comments. (It was hardly her first time.) So hateful were her remarks, that not only did the network immediately cancel the new revival, but stations which, for decades, have been broadcasting the reruns of past seasons have pulled them off the air. Financially speaking, that means the end of residuals (i.e. TV royalties) for those original cast members.
I’m not going to get into the politics of this however it does illustrate one of the themes of this project: “Be careful what you wish for.”
While some of the original cast members have gone on to play great roles and garner professional acclaim (i.e. John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf) there are others who haven’t been seen much since the end of the first run. Certainly, the cast members who re-upped with the new show were happy about its revival but I assume it must have been particularly great news for those who haven’t found much steady industry work these past few decades.
I can imagine some of them feeling overjoyed and relieved that they would finally be back in the saddle, making good money again. But now, not only do they go back to whatever career (or lack thereof) they had before, but they have also lost the income stream from the old show.
One of the things I’ve learned from listening to these stories and writing this blog is that life unspools exactly as it was meant to, which is why it is pointless to get too excited or depressed about one’s fortunes in the moment. What seems like incredible good news today might turn into a nightmare tomorrow; and what seems to be a disaster today might well turn out to be the best thing that ever happened. (I can personally think of plenty of times, in my own life, where that was the case. I even find it to be true of current news cycles.) You really cannot know until the end, and even then, perhaps not. Thus, it’s far less stressful to simply take things as they come, gleaning from each moment whatever life lessons are offered.
I’m not suggesting that we should not savor the joy or that we should ignore our sadness. There is much value in both I’m saying that it’s pointless to plan. Happiness is not a state which magically manifests at some point in the future when a certain set of conditions are met. And in pain, when it comes — as it inevitably does — there is growth (Remember: shit is fertilizer!)
The secret to happiness is this: learn to be happy twenty minutes at a time. Before you know it, you will have been happy for an hour, then a day, then a week, then months and years. The more happy moments you can string together, the happier life will be.
As they say in Yiddish, “Mann tracht, un Gott lacht” (Man plans, and God laughs)
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