I confess, I watch American Idol. Not as religiously as I used to, but I still catch it when I can. And, as everyone in Milwaukee, Little Rock, and San Diego probably knows, the top three finalists were sent home to their respective home towns for a huge publicity thing about two weeks ago. None of that surprises me. What did surprise me was the number of negative reactions I read. Most of them ran along a line that argues since we don’t have parades for my favorite thing, or since the economy is in the tank, we shouldn’t have a parade/weekend for the hometown boy (and this year they are all boys) made good.
How mean spirited is that? Have we really become so jaded that we would deprive people of their day in the sun? Are we really so focused on the negatives in life that we cannot allow ourselves to have a little go old escapist fun? I read several comments that said we should have parades for returning soldiers. I’m fine with that, but let’s remember that when those parades occurred in the past they occurred after the (declared) war was over, not as each soldier returned home.
All of that notwithstanding, I say knock yourself out with parades for everybody. The more important issue to me is the rampant negativity that would deny someone their day in the sun. Perhaps we all need to take a deep breath and reexamine our own lives with an eye toward finding our joy. It is there – and it’s there in the simple things, the daily things, the everyday. We all need to take a step back from our own imagined self importance to find the joy again. Take a day off and walk in the park, visit your friends, take in a movie, help an old person across the street. I bet you will find that the company you work for doesn’t close because you missed a day.
One thing is certain: If we don’t relax a little bit and start enjoying life, life will kill us. What a legacy that would be – to have lived a life without joy, you last breath muttering curses about a Danny Gokey parade.