It’s STILL a Wonderful Life… Inaugurating Ourselves

Yes, the inauguration was today, January 20, 2017. We can choose to worry or perhaps feel good about it. Or we can continue our own meaningful lives, including some caring about the politics, but not giving it great, overwhelming importance.

If there was a gun to my head (and an angry person behind that gun), the last priority that would occur to me at that moment would be “Who is the president, and what is he going to do to all of us.”

Life is meant to be lived with intensity, awake to each moment. When that fades a little, we can become distracted — by the need to pay bills, by the weather outside, and yes, by inaugurations and other notable news in the media.

To be clear, living with intensity does not mean living anxiously. And not worrying about paying bills does not mean we ignore them and choose not to pay bills.

Have you seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart? (and not “It’s a Beautiful Life”, a more recent film which also has some food for thought.)

In “It’s a Wonderful Life”, near the end, the main character (Stewart) is in trouble through no wrongdoing of his own, and is about to be arrested. But he has so strongly woken up to the meaning of his life that he says joyfully to those present, “Isn’t it wonderful? I’m going to jail!!” He is carried away with the beauty and meaning of that moment. You can see the clip here (start at 2:00 if you just want the section that I am describing).

Even if we are not swept up in that degree of intensity, I know that we can all find meaning in each day, and in each moment, that can provide beauty and inspiration to us.

I will not let the ups and downs of those far away, control how I experience the world. I can find ways to support some policies and fight against others, but in my heart, I always want to remain the president of my own life.

When life is lived wide awake, with all its meaning, we make things better not only for ourselves, but also for other people. As far as I am concerned, that is what matters! Better for me, and better for all of us.

So, I do feel the shifts that appear to be happening now. We don’t know where they will lead. But life itself is still amazing, and I intend to make every minute count.