By the time I reached work this morning, I was feeling low. At breakfast I’d been greeted with the sad news of the death of a friend, well before his time. He had been the paragon of health and strength in a family wracked by poor health. How, I wondered, would his family survive? My breakfast companions and I also discussed the situation of a young boy, the adopted child of friends, who was in the hospital. He’d lived a very hard life and was struggling to cope with it all. We ended our time together discussing another friend whose fight with leukemia had suffered a setback.
Once at work I thought to myself: “I’m having a bad day.”
But was I, really?
I’m reasonably healthy (well, apart from arthritis and migraines, but nothing like the challenges discussed this morning over eggs and pancakes). I can work, I can write, I have a happy home with three well-fed and affectionate cats to keep me company. What, exactly was so bad about MY day?
Yes, hearing about the troubles, struggles, even death of friends and acquaintances is depressing. It makes me sad. But that is part of being engaged with the world, loving others and being loved in return, and that is inherently good. It is indeed a good day when I can care about the people I know and love. It is a good day when I can eat and commiserate with my compatriots.
Then just what makes a bad day? A bad day is when I hear about the pain and tragedy in the lives of those around me and don’t care. That would be a very bad day indeed.