“Alive and well” is an underrated sentiment.
How are you today?
I’m alive and well. Thanks for asking.
That ought to be good enough for a lot of us, a lot of the time. But we move past it really quickly to focus on the things we don’t yet have, the experiences we’re pining for, the recognition we crave, the money we haven’t yet earned, the big break we’re still waiting for.
I actually think this is a good thing. If everyone were perfectly content – not that this is possible – it would slow up the rate of progress and improvement we see in every generation. Progress and improvement stem from necessity sometimes, but they also come from someone saying, “why does this have to suck so much?” or “why is this part of life so annoying?” And then problems get solved, large and small. They all add up and compound on top of each other. Cars get more fuel efficient while also getting better cupholders. Who is to say that one form of improvement ought to have taken precedence over the other?
I wouldn’t worry about us running out of people who will do this, we’re never perfectly content for too long. But feeling alive and well while problem-solving is a nice equilibrium.
Getting to a place where you can be thankful to be alive and well, and still focused enough on the ways in which things can get better, is a good thing. I think I’m getting there myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve simply been grateful to be alive and well.
Maybe it’s an acquired sentiment for some while others just instinctively feel it.