I'm a sucker for a catchy tune, so one song I enjoy is a fun, playful, innocent number called "Good Time" by Carly Rae Jepsen and Adam Young (a Christian musician who's also known as "Owl City"). It's not profound, just an upbeat song about getting together with your friends and having a -- wait for it -- good time. The chorus is simple:
Good morning and good night
I wake up at twilight
It's gonna be all right
We don't even have to try -- it's always a good time.
I was thinking about these lyrics for a couple of reasons. One is that, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm re-reading Pride & Prejudice as part of a synchro-read with Classical Quest. And it really struck me how Jane, the oldest Bennet sister, has a natural tendency to see the good in everyone and everything. I'm certainly not like that: my habitual first reaction to many things is to be critical and judgmental. So when I was considering whether I should give up anything for Lent, I decided, "No, I'm not going to give up something, I'm going to do something. I'm going to look for the good, like Jane."
I'm finding it's not that easy. Maybe it's because my habitual first reaction is to be critical and judgmental (did I already mention that?). But I'm working on it. And today I had a neat encounter. I was heading downtown and had to stop at a mailbox to mail a letter for an elderly neighbour. A woman was standing near the mailbox waiting for a bus; as I stepped past her she said, "Hi, how are you?" It was apparent that she was developmentally handicapped. I said, "Good, how are you?" I posted my letter, and as I went to leave she said, "Bye now, you have a good day." I wished her the same and turned away with a smile on my face.
Then I realized, some people (like this woman, and Jane Bennet, and Jonathan) really don't have to try. It's not a huge effort for them to look on the bright side or give the benefit of the doubt. For them, life is good, and everyone they meet is a friend. It's always a good time!
This was another good reminder to be more accepting, more open-minded, and less inclined to judge. Maybe it's possible for this mindset to become as natural as breathing, not a forced effort. I still have 33 more days to go in Lent, so maybe I'll find that out.