So much of the background noise in our lives reminds me of worst-case scenarios, chaos and decline.
It's the low-level hum: at work, on the television, in the paper and especially on the Internet. The world we are shown is largely one of conflict and controversy.
There is a chronic undercurrent of something bad happening; an impending sense of potential disaster. Things fall apart, people leave us when we need them to stay, and too many people suffer random tragedies and violence.
In this background gray, which sometimes darkens, sometimes lightens, we have to remind ourselves of the other force that turns this great big sphere on its axis.
In this moment, as you read this, so many things are happening outside the gray. In this very second, these moments are unfolding:
Parents whose hearts longed to have a baby are holding their newborn for the first time.
A man who aimed too far out of his league is gazing at his bride and promising to love her forever.
A daughter is telling her mother she's going to become a grandmother.
A father is hugging his grown son and saying that he's proud of him.
A cancer patient is hearing a doctor say the word "remission."
A teenager has the keys to the car for the very first time.
The ground is shaking for someone getting kissed.
A baby, a spinal-cord injury patient and an amputee are all taking their first steps.
A brand-new business owner is making her first sale.
Someone, who no one believed ever would, is crossing a stage and accepting a diploma.
Someone is sounding out a word and beginning to read.
A writer is finishing a book.
An artist is being struck by inspiration.
A runner is crossing a finish line.
Someone is falling in love.
A stranger is saving another human being's life.
A boss is offering a nervous young adult his first job.
An unemployed breadwinner with a family to support is accepting a new job offer.
A soldier is greeting her family after a long absence, picking up a child and holding her so tightly.
An unlikely 10-year-old is scoring a game-winning goal.
An abandoned puppy is being chosen by a new family.
Someone is being surprised with a cake and a birthday song.
Someone is proposing. Someone is saying yes.
People are dancing -- in streets, at parties, in clubs and in their bedrooms.
A child is showing his parents his best-ever report card.
All of that is happening. Somewhere in this big, wide world, in the time it took to read that. All that elusive, random, commonplace, extraordinary happiness is taking place -- changing people's lives or just filling them with gratitude.
I want to pause and consider each of those scenes unfolding. I want to let myself remember those moments from my own life and appreciate what so many millions of people the world over are experiencing.
We carry memories of our best times close to our hearts, but how often do we take a minute to pull out those pictures from our mind and allow ourselves the gift of reliving them? Of remembering the sights, sounds and smells as vividly as we can?
It doesn't cost anything. And science has shown us that dwelling in the good -- past or present -- makes us happier. The act of recalling, the process of committing to memory these moments, serves us well when the world seems dark.
It's a reminder today, of all days.
Sometimes, love wins.