Lois, our giant white and black dog, wakes up every morning so excited that today is today. She loves today. Today, Lois feels, is the best day ever, every day. And why not? She doesn’t know about gridlock in Washington or women’s reproductive rights being under assault all over the nation, or how many extra bills popped up this month, or ongoing racial inequality or gender inequality or the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Also, she’s a dog.
It can be so easy to get pulled under by these things, especially when you’re passionate about equality, justice, and contributing to your retirement account. There is something new to be upset about every day.
But the other day, I had some time to kill in Downtown Ann Arbor, so I popped into Sweetwaters, grabbed a coffee and sat down with my iPad. I learned via email that an article I’d written for Forbes.com through an online marketplace called Contently had been accepted, and I had money waiting for me. I clicked the button to withdraw the funds to Paypal, then opened my Paypal app and transferred the funds to my bank. Then, I opened my financial records in Google Drive and recorded the transaction.
This took about five minutes, and while I was tickled by the convenience factor, I was bowled over with the sudden realization that my life would simply not be possible in any other era. Never mind the fact that throughout much of human history I, as a woman, wouldn’t have even been allowed to have a job or publish my writing anywhere, much less circulate among the general public whilst menstruating: even setting that aside, never before could a writer decide she wanted to make a living from her home, carve out a specialty and then find a number of media outlets to pay her for it. I just made myself a job. And that job allows me so much freedom and flexibility and family time and dog walks, it’s a wonder that I don’t wake up every day so stinking happy that today is today.
With all that we spend our energy worrying about, it’s easy to think that this is the worst time in human history. The truth is, despite our current challenges, this is the best time in human history. These problems have always existed, and they were in fact much worse before we were empowered to vocalize them and rally together for change. There is much work to do in the world. We have a long way to go to make humanity safer, more just, fair and harmonious. That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate how far we’ve come, or just how amazing many aspects of today truly are.
Lois is so right; it is very exciting that today is today.