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  • Jennifer Z. Major

Stupid advice.

Yeah, recovery has been fun, but I think I'm close to being able to do more stuff. Stuff like weights (all the way up to maybe 8 pounds) and core work. Maybe some cardio too. I see the surgeon on Wednesday for my post-op appointment. I am hoping that the doc says I can ease into training for that marathon.

Then again, I don't. Because umm, who'd want to do that?


So, the stupid advice...

A few years ago, I went to an ...event... and the keynote speaker spent 10 minutes extolling the virtues of choosing happiness. Which, yeah, I can see the validity of that. But he went on to say "no matter what happens, it's up to you to decide to be happy. So, just BE HAPPY".

Umm, okay. Sure, if you want. You know, just be happy.

You could feel the grown-ups in the audience, the ones with some life experience, just roll their eyes and snicker. And yes, we could hear that song.

Which is fine and cute, but like the lecture, it doesn't solve the problems.

He could've said "No matter what life throws at you, lean on your loved ones for wisdom." Or "seek advice from someone you respect" or even "choose perseverance".

A person can make anything sound good, but if something cannot stand up to the heat, it's as useful as a square wheel.

But in all truth, "just be happy" is not exactly a stone to set in one's foundation.

The one from the live action Cinderella? "Have courage, and be kind"? Makes me want to sob every time I hear the mother say it to her daughter. That is gold, no matter what one's faith is.

So, where am I going with this?

Well, think about what I write.

What I talk about.






Trust me when I say this, in the five years since I started writing, the burden of "getting it right" has increased with each passing year. There's no "just be happy" to fall back on. No trite, foolish, weak landing zone.

History is hard enough for the victors. But for those whose worlds and cultures are destroyed?

There is no "just be happy". Sometimes, all there is left is "stay alive."

2018 is the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the US-Navajo Treaty of 1868.

I hope nobody had the gall to say to the survivors "just be happy", and hopefully no one will say it now. But, we all know that out there, someone will. Whether to a descendant, or anyone else whose culture has endured trauma and decimation.

Trust me, it is more respectful to say "I'm sorry for what happened" than to suggest the ever stupid "just get over it". That's up there with "just be happy".

When all else fails, look to Jesus. Not His followers. Him.

Remember that He sought out those who had pure hearts, and not a closet full of qualifications, and sent them on great missions? Remember that not all of those that He chose and sent weren't necessarily the ones with the greatest expertise, but those with the desire to serve Him?

He did not pick the happiest ones.

He did not pick the perfect ones.

He did not pick the richest ones.

Yes, those He chose? He already knew everything that they'd do, and what they'd fail at.

So, why did He pick the ones He did?

He picked the ones who knew that HE was their joy and strength.

He picked the ones who trusted that He knew about justice, fairness, mercy, humility...and that He held, and still holds, history in His hands.

In that? Oh yeah, in that I can be happy.

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