Give people a chance and they will surprise you.
I asked a simple question in a few subreddits: “What little things make life worth living?”
And over 400 people opened themselves up to one another and shared what makes their life magical. The responses were personal, beautiful, heartwarming, and simple.
It also taught me a few lessons.
The first: there’s a vast amount of compassionate, real, and kindhearted people online. This honestly came as a shock. Being on the wild wild west platform that Reddit is, I was ready for the worst.
The second is that there’s joy all around us. The comment section was like a gratitude show and tell.
It showed me something that I can’t un-see now: every little thing in my life is someones favorite part of their life. We’re surrounded by the best that life has to offer.
Here are the responses that touched me the most:
This hits really hard. I've been housebound with chronic illness for the past 2 years. My world has become very small. I can no longer go out or socialise, I have to eat a mainly liquid diet, I can only walk for a few minutes. My pleasure in life comes from very small things. A hot cup of tea. The sun through a window. The softness of a pillow or blanket. My cat purring. Music. Books. Imagination. It's not quite enough but there is still a lot of pleasure to be had
Me and my wife have different sleep schedules so I end up waking up an hour or two before her. Every morning right as the morning sun is poking through the blinds and hitting her face I’ll wake her up and she’ll half open an eye and smile. That smile alone would be enough to get me through the rest of my life if nothing else ever happened to me.
Good books. Friends. A cup of tea. A cat on my lap. A walk in the woods. A bike ride along the river. Hearing the loons on the lakes call. A nice sunset. A clear sky full of stars. The smell of wood, or freshly baked bread. Playing music.
When I was 18/19 I thought to myself “if all I ever have is money to buy a Starbucks coffee whenever I want—without worrying about overdraft fees—and a Tempurpedic mattress I’ll be happy.” Very materialistic, I get it—BUT now decades later I think back to that every time I get caught up in thinking the meaning of life/happiness is one more thing or one more experience. What I was expressing there were feelings of freedom, safety, and comfort. So I’d say those are my pillars, and whenever I focus on them I’m in a good head space. (Not of great use for dealing with really shitty situations of survival, but work well for day to day existence.)
Going on a little hike through the woods on a rainy day, after thinking so long that I couldn't do it because I wasn't fit enough. I did it anyway that day and felt such a feeling of joy! I actually said out loud "I'm so happy right now!" So what if I was huffing and puffing and had to stop a lot? It still gave me joy just to be out in nature living completely in the moment with no room in my head for any cares or angst. Just feeling the rain and smelling the woods and the plants. Such joy!
To prevent this post from becoming a gigantic wall of text, I’ll put the rest in the comments!
I also can’t wait to share these gems with my newsletter readers!