“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air is not worth all the suffering and effort that life implies?” – Erich Fromm
Sure, there are moments in life in which we experience suffering and heartbreak, trials and adversity. Could it be, however, that all of these sufferings are made worth it by the wonderful moments we experience in which everything is perfect, when we feel the passion and the joy of life, the elation from the beauty of the sunrise or sunset, the love we feel for our soul mate, a sibling, a child, or a friend? When I really think about it, much of my life is made up of my working towards such moments–moments where I feel a part of the world around me, a kinship to nature and my fellow man, a joy that may not last long, but that stays with me forever in my heart.
When we help a troubled youth graduates or reaches an important goal, or help a friend struggling with addiction, we know that all the difficulty we faced in helping them was worth it. We all have memories of certain wonderful moments with our spouses. And even though at times we go through trials and problems with them, it is possible that those moments make the whole relationship worthwhile.
And maybe for some of us we may not have found anything worthwhile. Sometimes the suffering and effort so far outweigh the rewarding moments, and we therefore do not feel that it is at all possible for them to make everything else worthwhile. But what if they do, and we just do not notice it? Then we would be missing what life is about–the positive sides of our experiences here on this planet.
Consider it–allow yourself to open your mind wide enough to the possibility that these small moments, these wonderful, seemingly unimportant moments, may be what we are working towards in our lives.
Take comfort in your daily efforts and sufferings, knowing that they may lead to great moments of joy.
Questions to consider:
How do we come to think that only the big things are really important to us?
Why do we feel that there has to be more than “walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air?”
What does it mean to you for something to be “worth it?”
For further thought:
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” – Frederick Buechner