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“Be happy for as long as you can”

Arthur Lee Hall, Jr. | 9/19/2013, 9 a.m.

The willingness to be happy in spite of, and not because of our circumstances is not as widely put into practice as allowing happiness in the face of adversity to become just an abstract notion, a mere concept that we would rather scoff at, and thus, never experience in our personal lives.

In disregarding the human spirit as a source for emotional support, many of us tend to associate happiness with external objects and favorable events. When those foreign objects and desired happenings fail to materialize, the exploration for good cheer seems to come to an end, and no time is ever spent scouring within ourselves for a reason to celebrate life. What we never discover is that happiness is always within close reach, with or without great riches and abundance and regardless of our life-experiences. We never come to realize that in spite of outer influences and occurrences that are far beyond our control, it is still possible to grant ourselves the power and authority to feel jubilant within our internal existence.

For me, the radiance of the sun, the brightness of its rays will never truly shine down on me while I continue to languish in prison, and certainly not until I am able to physically in the presence of my dear mother, standing freely on the other side of the fence. Everyday this is a reality for me: being somewhere I don’t want to be, constantly being told what to do, not being able to reach out and touch my loved ones.

If I want to , I could easily use that short list of adversity as an excuse to deprive myself of joy. I could choose to die today as a man whose heart has been torn apart by the lack of freedom. I could leave this world feeling downtrodden and oppressed, moping my way to the hereafter. Or, I could make a conscious decision to feast continually at the table of gaiety, accepting my current position in life for exactly what it is — at least until I am blessed to see better days.

There’s no guarantee that those days will ever come. If they don’t, then as the late Notorious B.I.G once rapped in his hit song Juicy, “its all good.” At least unlike those who went to their graves feeling unhappy although they had all the best things money could buy, I would have afforded myself the luxury of defying sadness, smiling through my infirmity untouched gloom.