The Importance of Small Pleasures

This world is filled with small pleasures.

Like that rush of child-like excitement that you get when a sequel, prequel, or adaption to your favourite book/movie/comic series comes out, and all of a sudden you need to gobble it all up like a man deprived of food and drink for a week. You need to sequester yourself alone with your cell phone, just for two minutes, just so you can watch the new trailer, that’s all. You need to check the news on a regular basis, just to make sure that nothing more has been said on the matter. You need to look extensively into everyone involved in the project to make sure that you’re satisfied with each and every one of them, because there will be hell to pay if the costume guy doesn’t live up to expectations, goddamnit.

Like that moment of realization when it finally sinks in that this summer, you’re going to Disneyworld. It doesn’t matter if it’s an expensive cash-grab, or one giant advertisement for a movie studio. It doesn’t matter if you’re not actually standing forty-five minutes in a line-up to meet Cinderella, just some stranger in her dress and make-up who speaks her dialogue in an unnaturally high-pitched voice. It doesn’t matter if it’s cheesy and corny and ridiculous – it’s a fun time full of imagination and human ambition, so you allow the thrill to fill your little heart, and your mind races off to thoughts of roller coasters and ice cream bars shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head.

Or, hell, even just the everyday small pleasure of a sunset that lights up the sky in shades of red, like a fire on the horizon, or that creature that infests your city and that you see every day (where I live, it’s squirrels) actually pausing close enough for you to get a good look at it and realize that it truly is a beautiful animal, or the sudden change of seasons, when the leaves come from green to orange and set the world aflame, when the snow covers the earth and makes it sparkle, when the first few buds of life began to poke themselves out from their winter-long death.

Truly, there are many incredible and beautiful things to be enjoyed on this earth.

And the thing that I never understood, the thing that upsets and even offends me, is when someone comes along and tries to kill your enjoyment of something small and beautiful like that.

 

I’ve seen it happen on multiple occasions – hell, I’ve even had it happen to me. You’re getting all excited about something that the person next to you truly doesn’t find all that thrilling, and so they decide to tear it all down for you. They remind you that it’s “just a movie”, and act like it’s weird that you’re getting all excited about it. They treat adulthood like some sort of super-secret club that you can’t get into if you still enjoy trips to Disneyworld and frivolous thrills like that. They bark at you to hurry along and pretend that it’s ridiculous to bask in the beauty of the mundane.

They make you feel like there’s something wrong with you, like you’re some sort of immature, unintelligent alien that can’t fit into society because you don’t always share its pleasures.

And I don’t understand why someone would do such a thing. What’s wrong with happiness, even if it doesn’t come from a source that you entirely understand? Why would you belittle someone just because they can find joy in something that you can’t?

Because here’s the thing – as much as we live in a truly beautiful world, full of small pleasures and passions, there’s a lot to it that’s truly awful as well. There’s war, poverty, injustice, inequality, and all manner of hatred and fear that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. It’s inescapable, except for in those brief moments where something good happens to us, where some sort of pleasure, however small, comes along and rescues us. So why shouldn’t that be encouraged? Why can’t we just enjoy it? Why does anyone feel the right to tear someone down just because they don’t think that the thing that makes them happy is important enough?

Because here’s the thing – if it makes you happy, no matter what it is, it’s important. Anything that keeps you from spiraling into hopelessness and despair, whether it be a song, a video game, a person, a celebrity personality, anything at all, does not need to be justified and is totally valid.

So whatever you do, do not be ashamed to be happy. Hold your joy high for all to see, and brush off the people who don’t understand. Because the people who belittle you truly are just jealous of what you have. They see your happiness, wonder why they can’t achieve it for themselves, and then try to tear you down to their level, and you shouldn’t let them. Find your happiness wherever you can, because you deserve every last bit of it.

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