On the late-afternoon streets, everyone hurries along, going about their own business. Who is the person walking in front of you on the rain-drenched sidewalk? He is covered with an umbrella, and all you can see is a dark coat and the shoes striking the puddles. And yet this person is the hero of his own life story. He is the love of someone’s life. And what he can do may change the world. Imagine being him for a moment.
And then continue on your own way.
Barbara Fredrickson On Why We Should Rethink Love
I think it’s possible to learn to seek out love at any point in life. In my own life I made a major turnaround as an adult when I discovered how to relate more with people instead of remaining isolated. People can wake up at any time to what they need as human beings regardless of where they started. Positive emotions are our birthright, and we all have access to them. It could be that the families we grew up in didn’t help us to feel them, but the people who raised you can’t take away your capacity to resonate with others. They may have reduced your skills, but the capacity is still there.
There’s a news story from yesterday — December 21, 2006 — about an Idaho man who pleaded guilty to the beheading of his wife. He was caught because he got into a traffic accident that killed two other people, and his wife’s lifeless head bounced out of his pickup truck and onto the road.
Then I gave him the most critical advice I could give: that he should marry someone he could divorce with civility, someone who would muscle past the hurt and want him to have happiness, too. Marry someone for whom he would wish the same. “Do that,” I said, “and, whatever the outcome is, you’ll have a pretty decent run.”
My friend says that a life properly lived is like a river. I take this to mean that headlong shots through roaring box canyons are inevitable, along with meandering, wandering main channels and high, roiling waters. There will be drought-drained shallows in which trout languish; winter, when the dark water is a spill of ink down the page of snow; and eddies, too, the hypnotic, elliptical movement of water running back on itself, around and around.
In 1976, the year we were supposed to be learning the metric system, we fell in love with Katy Muldoon. We were in the sixth grade, and Katy sat at the front of our math class, raising her hand for every question, as though all of the answers to all of the problems were merely floating in front of her eyes.