Happiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning | Proudly Made in the USA

Happiness is a Side Effect of Meaning | Proudly Made in the USA

Happiness is a Side Effect of Meaning | Proudly Made in the USA

It's a beautiful day to be alive here at the peak of recorded human history



If this isn't nice, I don't know what is
Music, please


Lecture I've ever given
Has included
My tribute to my Uncle Alex, my mother's kid brother
Who was a graduate of Harvard
And a wise man and just an insurance salesman in Indianapolis
He was childless
But what Uncle Alex found objectionable
About so many human beings
Is that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy
And so we would be sitting under an apple tree for instance
Some July afternoon, drinking lemonade and you know
Talking about this and that and then practically buzzing like
I was fat
That's why I talk about it
Go ahead and say something, motherfucker
I was fat, too
And it was hard as fuck every fucking day to get up
I know what it feels like
When you roll your fat ass outta bed
And all you want is some fuckin' damn cinnamon buns
And shit
And fucking chocolate milkshake
I know what it is
I know exactly what it is
But I can't want it more than you
And so many people
Just want it the easy way
I'm sorry, man
It’s not
So, what they start to do
Is they build this narrative
Of it's okay
When their narrative should be
You need to fuckin' work harder
Not much chance completely cut loose from purpose
He was a young man riding a bus through North Carolina on the way to somewhere
And it began to snow

And the bus stopped at a little café in the hills
And the passengers entered
And he sat at the counter with the others
And he ordered the food arrived
And the meal was particularly good
And the coffee

The waitress was unlike the women he had known
She was unaffected and there was a natural humor which came from her
And the fry cook said crazy things
And the dishwasher in back laughed a good clean pleasant laugh

And the young man watched the snow through the window
And he wanted to stay in that café forever
The curious feeling swam through him that everything was beautiful there
And it would always stay beautiful there

And then the bus driver told the passengers that it was time to board
And the young man thought I'll just stay here
I'll just stay here
And then he rose and he followed the others into the bus
He found his seat and looked at the café through the window
And then the bus moved off down a curve downward out of the hills

And the young man looked straight forward
And he heard the other passengers speaking of other things
Or they were reading or trying to sleep
And they hadn't noticed the magic
And the young man put his head to one side
Closed his eyes and pretended to sleep

There was nothing else to do
Just to listen to the sound of the engine
And the sound of the tires
In the snow
The laughing heart
Your life is your life
Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission
Be on the watch
There are ways out
There is light somewhere
It may not be much light but it beats the darkness
But it beats the darkness
Be on the watch
The gods will offer you chances
Know them
Take them
You can’t beat death but you can beat death in life
Sometimes, and the more often you learn to do it
The more light there will be
Your life is your life
Know it while you have it
You are marvellous
The gods wait to delight in you
That's the beauty
The man I'm talking about was not a scrooge
No, he was a kind, a decent, a mostly good man
Generous to his family and upright in his dealings with other men
But he just did not believe in all of that incarnation stuff
Which the churches proclaim at Christmas time
It just did not make sense and he was too honest
To pretend otherwise
He could not swallow the Jesus' story
About God coming to earth as a man
He told his wife, I'm truly sorry to distress you
But I'm just not going with you to church this Christmas Eve
He said he'd feel like a hypocrite
That he'd much rather just stay home
But that he would wait up for them
So, he stayed, and they went to the midnight service
Now, shortly after, the family drove away in the car Snow began to fall