Be Happy As Kings (Queens)
There is a simple, but fantastic poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson that basically summarizes my philosophy to life:
The World is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.
KING (Queens)! Not peasants!
But many of us are not happy. Many of us simply write this poem off as childish. It was written for children after all. We say to ourselves, ‘that’s cute, but naïve. Life is way more complicated than that.’
Why? Why does life have to be more complicated? Perhaps the view that life is more complicated than this simple poem is the naïve opinion. It certainly seems more simple and straightforward to think that it is. Maybe this is why so many adults don’t hold this poem as a living philosophy. It’s just ‘natural’ for them to see life as infinitely more complicated.
Yet life needn’t be, if only you could waken from your pessimistic slumber. Open your eyes and see the goods around you. Your marriage is on the rocks. Unfortunate, but at least you have a marriage to fight for. Your children won’t obey you. Darn, but at least you have been blessed with fertility. I lost my job, but you still have legs. I lost my legs, but you still have arms. I lost my arms, but you still breath. You still have life. You are still loved—even if only by God. You still have, have, and have. Don’t you see all that you have?
I wake in the morning early
And always, the very first thing,
I poke out my head and I sit up in bed
And I sing and I sing and I sing.
Rejoice! You woke up today. Stop thinking life is too complicated. Life is tough, but its not problematical. Perplexing, no doubt. Yet not convoluted . One of the keys to life is seeing the simple as wonderful, the mundane as exciting:
I’m glad the sky is painted blue,
And the earth is painted green,
With such a lot of nice fresh air
All sandwiched in between.
If you can learn to look outside and see a gigantic sandwich, I promise you will begin to see how simple life really is.
Brandon Wall is a counselor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: http://www.cedarrapidscounselingcenter.com/