Janus masks, for those of you not in the know, are the masks with fixed emotions. Specifically, Janus masks were created for rituals to a God with two faces, one always laughing, the other weeping. Apropos for what I’m talking about today: three things that make me sad, and three that make me happy.

Sad

  1. Ignorance. As much as this makes me angry, ignorance also tends to make me feel very sad. The fact that a significant percentage of the world’s population doesn’t have access to education, let alone how the majority of the educated world tends to misuse (or not use) their education, is just plain sad. Surely we are better than this.
  2. Cruelty. Again, this one has the ability to make me angry. Very angry, in fact, especially when my social justice radar gets going. However, the fact that people have the capability of being cruel to each other and other things saddens me. Needless to say, I monitor the amount of time I spend reading news articles these days.
  3. Misunderstanding. Specifically, misunderstanding me or those I care about. Yes, misunderstanding in general is just a very sad situation, mostly because it could all be fixed with one honest sit-down conversation between all parties, but when I am on the end that is being misunderstood? I haven’t felt heartbreak akin to it yet.

Happy

  1. Movies. There is something incredibly relaxing and enjoyable about stepping out of your own shoes and stepping into someone else’s through the experience of a good (or not so good, your choice) film. Watching the action happen from the safety of the theater, or your couch, or your bedroom can be a lot of fun and bring a lot of happiness, especially when you want to escape from something that is bothering you IRL.
  2. Games. Board games, video games, card games, you name it. I find a lot of happiness when playing a game with friends and family. Especially if it isn’t a super competitive game (because otherwise it can get pretty ugly, believe me).
  3. Cats. Sure, it’s super-superficial, but cats just bring me a lot of happiness. I highly recommend this live stream of kittens, if you haven’t seen it before. And just checking out the local animal shelter, of course, to find your own little furball sweetheart.

A moment of truth: I have been trying to work on this blog post all day. I finally switched the order of my “happy” and “sad” lists, thinking it would be better to end on a high note, and thinking that it would be easier to write my “happy” list after writing the other one. I was (and am) alarmed by the speed and ease I was able to write out three things that make me sad. I would have given up on my “happy” list if Ghostwheel hadn’t told me that it wasn’t an option, hence quite the different sort of tone from my two lists.

I know I’ll be able to list off such things in the future quite easily, but maybe this is one area that I need to explore more in my life. Maybe I need to find more things that make me happy. This is supposed to be a blog about rediscovery, after all, right?

-Wilber

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