As I write this I’m on a plane on my way from DC to a wedding in Los Angeles. It’s October and plans for the weekend include an outing Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. I plan on riding Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain (roller coasters), listening to Tiki birds sing, eating a corn dog and Dole Whip, enjoying the special fireworks, and taking a picture with Goofy or Donald.
As I anticipate such whimsical and wholesome activities I look up and see a vivid and violent war movie playing on the TV monitors over the aisles of the plane. The contrast is shocking—harshness, bullets flying, people falling and dying. It’s no wonder that we struggle to adjust to the wide variety of experiences that exists in life.
We have to be gentle with ourselves when we can. Life hands out enough harshness to all of us so that it’s not a good idea to add to it voluntarily by treating ourselves and others badly.
Life has buoyancy, bounce, whimsy, and surprise, and when we add understanding, patience, and compassion towards ourselves and others into the mix, it’s a good recipe.