I sinned this morning. While walking down the street, I gazed up at the crows in the trees and smiled.
The workplace taught me that it's a sin to experience a moment of happiness. When you're unemployed you really shouldn't be happy. I sinned a second time: I didn't walk crestfallen, gazing at the ground, pounding the pavement in search of a minimum wage job. Of course, today is Sunday. So that lessens the sin.
I hope you commit the sin of enjoying your life today. Try not to make anyone jealous. Some people get irritated when they suspect that your stress level is not high enough, when you walk around relaxed and smiling. They don't realize, this is part of a deliberate strategy to cheer up in order to avoid sliding into debilitating depression.
This could be a learning experience. It takes courage to stand up and be human, instead of cowering in fear of what others might think. Everyone I know experiences suffering. My philosophy: instead of judging one another, offer encouragement and try to be a little understanding.
I'll try not to judge those who judge me. In fact, it's all in my head, except that people do get angry when you disappoint their expectations. However, have compassion for them and for yourself. It makes me feel bad to disappoint someone. But at the same time, that other person must feel really bad to be offended by a man going through a hard time.
Actually, nobody wants to hear about it. Keep quiet. Turn suffering into text and image. The process of transmuting suffering into text and image lessens the intensity of the pain, allowing one to perhaps relax and see more clearly what is going on and to figure out what to do next. Not reacting to harsh words or unpleasant surprises, but instead, to go out and connect to the elements, to walk down the street and feel support from the sidewalk, infinite space of the sky and the richness of life in between, then one might feel confident and strong. One could tune into personal dignity, which exists, no matter what happens on the outside. One could be decent and strong inside.