For a moment, put the phone down. Turn the big screen off. Look away from the news. Reports of so many frightening, terrible, shameful things will be there when you return.
If you have kids, parents, friends close or far, and they’re okay, be happy for that.
If you have pets, and you have the food to feed them, a place to care for them and they don’t need the vet, be happy for that.
If you share your space with a loved one who is stressed out because working from home is still work, be happy that you can still love that person, even if it’s only to make a cup of tea for that person and leave that tea where they can see it.
If you have a roof over your head that doesn’t leak, hot water when you need it, cold water you can drink, doors and windows that you can open to let in a spring breeze and close to keep out a storm, be happy for that.
If you have an old shirt, sweater, pair of shoes or pants that just feel good when you wear them, be happy for that.
If you hear about someone being kind to another, be happy for that.
If you can finish the work you have been given, if you can put your kids to bed, wash the dishes, sit in a chair or sprawl out on your couch and do nothing for a few minutes, be happy for that.
If you have enough food in your house for a few days, be happy for that. When you go to the market and you find something you need, or something that would be so much fun to share, and you have enough money to buy it, take it home and serve it, be happy you can do it. Even if some don’t touch it, don’t like it and don’t know why you bought it, sharing food is a good thing to do.
If you go for a walk and people you don’t know on the other side of the street wave and ask you how you’re doing, and you can’t figure out how it is that those you’ve never met and probably never would, are so pleasant, be happy they are.
Maybe there’s something to being nice that makes it worthwhile.
If you see plants pushing up from the soil, if trees and flowers bloom and then push new leaves into the air, if some other thing you find suggests to you that being alive–as hard, scary and sad as it can be when too many people are struggling, suffering and dying–can have moments of incredible, astonishing, redemptive beauty, and you wonder why you didn’t notice it, or why you need to be reminded of it, just be happy that beauty got your attention, for a moment.