“Two Shots of Happy; One Shot of Sad”
“See the oncoming day as a child sees a parade coming down the street”
Kirk Byron Jones
Sorry Mr. Kirk Byron Jones, would you mind if I pass. Hey, I’m a pretty upbeat guy but there is no way I can greet each new day like I’m a kid watching a parade coming down the street. Geezo ! Beezo! At least let me have my coffee first.
Anyway, the quote reminded me of something out of Dr.Seuss. So I took out my trusty copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go !” to see if the good doctor’s optimism matched Kirk Jones. Here is part of what I read:
“Today is your day. You’re off to great places.
You’re off and away. You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high flyers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t. Because sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so, but sadly it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups
can happen to you.”
That last stanza restored my faith in Dr.Seuss. As whimsical and bright as his stuff is, he still lets his young readers know that life has its “hang-ups and bang-ups.” Life for little kids is beautifull and enchanting, even miraculous at times but there’s also the days they scrape their shins or get yelled at by a parent or see their pet hamsters die.
As parents, we instinctively try to shield our little ones from life’s disappointments, but deep down we know we can’t do it. I still recall the time my then eight-year-old daughter came down with a bad case of the flu on Halloween night. Good grief ! Her ballerina costume had been laid out for a week before; the basket for trick and treat goodies all prepared. When her mom and I had to say no she couldn’t go out, Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, the British evacuation at Dunkirk, nothing could possibly have been a worse tragedy for our little kid.
The mix of smiles and tears is part of our lives as adults. Show me a person who claims to be happy all of the time and I’ll show you someone out of touch with reality. We can’t look at each new day with the eagerness of a child looking for a parade because life experience has taught us that parades don’t come every day. Whether we are teens or muddling through on the twilight side of 50, we KNOW the red-letter days in life happen only occasionally.
That’s okay, because you know what? Most of us have figured out that, despite those bad days, we would much rather be alive than dead. One of my favorite U-2 songs is a poignant little number called “Two Shots of Happy; One Shot of Sad.” To me, it sort of sums up the way life is. Sure, life has its downers but I like to think that the good moments outnumber the bad. What do you think?
Dr. Seuss concludes his book “Oh the Places You’ll Go” with these lines….
“You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go
So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” (I love that line)
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
98 and ¾ percent guaranteed
Kid, you’ll move mountains!