Small Comforts

For most of humankind’s history, being well-fed, warm, and secure was a blessing devoutly to be wished. We all appreciate the small happinesses of our lives, even if we argue about which of them are more important. There is no doubt that a personal philosophy rooted in satisifed happiness begins with an appreciation of those often unnoticed states.

Concentrating on the small enhances our feeling of control, but does limit our possibility. Nobody ever had grand accomplishments by staying safely in bed eating donuts. On the other hand, grand accomplishments always arrive wrapped in complexity and riddled with contradictions.

Equally, it is not fair to claim that small comforts lead to common good. Selfish personal preoccupations may be evil in the extreme to those around us or to society in general. There are historic examples enough of mass-murdering madmen who were kind to the children and cats they encountered locally. And of sadists who found joy in inflicting suffering on others.

Ah, but I do not consider myself such a madman. Anyway, I try to start each day being grateful for all the little things easily taken for granted. Such as eyesight, or electricity, or books, or just about anything nearby. Happy in such contemplations, I can minimize my annoyance at all the worrisome larger issues.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. And that is at least a fine way to start each morning.

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