Proud Citizen

There are times where I am troubled to be an American citizen. When I worry about the direction of the country. When I get into debates with others and wonder how they could possibly believe in the policies they believe in.

Today is not one of those times. Today is a day to be a proud citizen. To know that we’ve still got it better than so many other countries, struggling with war or overwhelming poverty or oppressive governments. To know that, despite our faults and checkered history, we are doing a pretty damn good job being a nation, and that the average citizen’s level of kindness is something to be proud of.


Vicarious Joy

vicarious-joyOne of the best ways to vicariously experience joy is to watch professional sports teams win an important game.  The final game of the World Series.  The Super Bowl.  An Olympic gold.  The Stanley Cup.  It doesn’t even have to be for a championship — it could be a well-fought game that left the winning players happy but exhausted.

Half the reason I tune into World Cup games right now is to see the teams celebrate when they get a goal, or when they win the match.  Everyone’s so damn happy. They are competing at the pinnacle of their sport, and just had a major step forward toward success. The spontaneous celebrations are a sight to behold. The crowds the cameras cut to are of rapture, as bedecked fans hoot and holler and scream and bounce up and down.

It’s contagious, that sort of joy. It’s hard not to be moved when you see the celebrating baseball team piling on top of each other on the pitcher’s mound. Naturally, it’s more contagious when you’re in a bar full of locals who haven’t seen their team win in 86 years. Then the place explodes, you hug people you don’t know, and everyone is honking their horns and yelling at the windows when you drive home. But it doesn’t have to be your home team ending a long drought. I’ll still take secondhand joy off of watching Croatia celebrate as they survive a shootout with Denmark.

Make sure you tune in for at least one World Cup celebration, or watch some highlights. It’s a good way to get a joy fix to tide you over until your next personal experience.