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“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about” (Charles Kingsley).
RUNNING OUT TO MEET LIFE EAGERLY IS A WISE AND BENEFICIAL THING TO DO. Whatever we do, we do it better when we do it eagerly rather than reluctantly. Obstacles are overcome more easily, cooperation from others is gained more freely, and satisfaction is experienced more deeply when eagerness is a part of our approach.
If we take an honest look at our lives, however, many of us will have to admit that we’ve let the daily forces grind down our eagerness to the point where there’s little left of it. Perhaps we’re not yet at the point of despair or outright rebellion, but we find ourselves merely tolerating life rather than living it. We’re only “going through the motions.” As G. K. Chesterton remarked, “There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.” Just so, there is a big difference between the person who has a life to live and the one who merely has to live life.
But we can do better, can’t we? We can rebuild our reserves of enthusiasm and eagerness. It may take time to get back in touch with the principles that produce excitement, but it’s worth working on, starting today. And one of the best reasons for doing so is that we honor others by being eager. Our general attitude toward life comes through in our dealings with those around us, and when we’re living our lives eagerly, others experience that eagerness as a welcoming, enthusiastic approach to them personally. It’s like giving them a hug!
Deep down, eagerness is always a product of gratitude. Those who are enthusiastic are those who appreciate the gift of life. Without diminishing their difficulties, eager people put the emphasis on their opportunities — and they show thankfulness for these opportunities by embracing them. With each new day, we get a chance to recharge our attitude and take another run at life’s requirements. While some folks greet the rising sun with a groan, others are rarin’ to go. When we decide which it will be, we make a very important choice.
“Wake up with a smile and go after life . . . Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it” (Joe Knapp).