In this week itself, I spent two separate occasions with my nephews and nieces. Over the weekend, I decided to surprise my niece by attending her kindergarten sports day. I arrived right when she was in the midst of a relay race of some sort. Upon seeing me, she ran towards me while screaming my name, resulting in her abandoning the race! My heart swells.
I also just returned from my nephew’s birthday party where I just put one of the younger baby nephews to sleep. I am over the moon and still couldn’t get over it.
In the final pages of his short book A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut dropped this wisdom:
“But I had a good uncle, my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
Shared abundantly and frequently on social media platforms is the last sentence, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'” The same sentence which I came across first before checking out the whole paragraph in the book. The sentence that turned my life around for every time I was feeling a little joyful, I was afraid to show or embrace the happiness for the fear that it will evaporate away. Then I was reminded of the sentence and reminded myself to just, notice it. Embrace it. Show it.
(P/s: A friend posted a review of Ursula K Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea yesterday, and while I could not completely recall the rest of the review, her last line, although sounded straightforward to some — it sounds super powerful to me. It says, “I want to be worthy.”)
(P/p/s: On receptive awareness.)