|"Sun and Rain", oil, by Thaw Malin III|
-- George Eliot, Middlemarch
Although I’ve been the butt of gentle jokes about it, I am proud to be what Eliot’s auctioneer was, an admirer by nature. I have only so many years left to live, only so many minutes in which to admire the world around me or pour scorn on it, and I choose to admire. It’s exhausting to constantly find fault with what’s happening, and I guess I would rather rest and relax in my admiration for the gifts this world gives me each day than wear out myself with worrying and complaining. Like Borthrop Trumbull, I’m happy to have “a kindly liquid in my veins”, a soft and thankful force that finds something to praise in just about everything. Yes, there is evil in the world, and there is failure and insufficiency and malfunction, and there are disappointments and duds and also-rans, but there are so many more successes and wonders and stars. Finding fault in everything is like seeing flaws in sunrises, or getting a gift of a great amount of money and making a fuss because it’s not more. I would rather work to find the value and pleasure in a rainy day than rail about it. Life is short, far too short to spend it in grievances and protests. There’s sunshine to be seen in even the darkest day, and I’m out to find it. When my friends playfully poke fun at my habit of praising rather than disparaging, I’ll take their taunts with a smile -- and somehow turn them into gifts.