"Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" vs. Reality

There is a pervasive myth that life is supposed to be a bowl of cherries, and the key to life is to just be happy.   You see this myth everywhere, especially in the movies, particularly romantic comedies where the destiny joined couple overcome all and share that memorable kiss in the end. You get this in the billion dollar greeting card industry, where Hallmark dictates your moods and the moods of your family.

In real life you see this tendency in parents where they do everything in their power to keep their kids happy, at the expensive cost of character development, which is always forged through adversity.   There is an epidemic in our society, an epidemic which stresses that everyone needs to be emotionally happy, to deny reality,and to make an idol out of sentimentality. 

Real life is brutish. It is hard, it pounds one relentlessly.  Reality plays no favorites.  Reality is not fair.  Reality is unbiased .  Reality does not cling to fantasies. Reality does not necessarily usher in happy fairy tale endings. 

So what kind of life are we living?  A life of expected Hollywood fantasies, or a life of earned reality?

The beautiful thing about this Lenten season is that it offers us all the opportunity to look at our lives soberly, to reexamine ourselves and to gauge our progress in reality.


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