On love and sadness
Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night’s sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn’t hear her husband’s ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren’s will be. But we learn to live in that love.
―Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
On living now
One day some people came to the master
and asked: How can you be happy
in a world of such impermanence,
where you cannot protect your loved ones
from harm, illness or death?
The master held up a glass and said:
Someone gave me this glass;
It holds my water admirably
and it glistens in the sunlight.
I touch it and it rings!
One day the wind
may blow it off the shelf,
or my elbow
may knock it from the table.
I know this glass is already broken,
so I enjoy it—incredibly.
On embracing life
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive.
On the gift of joy
It is because the world is so full of suffering,
that your happiness is a gift…
It is because the world is so unfriendly,
that your smile is a gift.
It is because the world is so full of war,
that your peace of mind is a gift.
It is because the world is in such despair,
that your hope and optimism is a gift.
It is because the world is so afraid,
that your love is a gift.
―From The Happiness Project vision statement