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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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On my morning walk, I was thinking about the video I posted recently, why it made me smile and get all choked up at the same time, why it made me happy during a fairly unpleasant week. Why it was healing.

It's the sheer joy of it, I think. Matt seems to be having the time of his life- and so does everyone dancing with him. Heck, I think the whale was happy, and I cherish a possibly-irrational belief that the guard at the DMZ was trying hard not to crack a smile. Mr. Harding is a man who seems to be living his dream, and his exuberance just shines out.

I think there's something in that. There's a lot of good being done in the world by a lot of people, a lot of worthy causes. But too often they try to motivate through fear, guilt, even horror. Even with the groups doing the best and most noble work in the world, sometimes it's hard not to say "enough, too much... tell me your success stories, not your horror stories." I'm not saying that anyone's exaggerating- with the responsible groups, it's probably the opposite. But guilt is poisonous- it taints even the good we do. I've ranted about that before, and will again... enough of that for now.

Happiness, enjoyment, fun- these are all good, in and of themselves. They don't need to have a purpose or a reason, they don't need to be for something. But they also feed the spirit, heal the heart, refresh the soul. There's not enough of that vital energy in the world.

Why not help increase it? You don't have to go to 42 countries and dance there... smaller things, to share your happiness, or help others to be happy. Share joy with your friends and loved ones. Smiles, jokes and little conversations with people you meet, letting someone get in front of you on the road or holding the door for someone who's burdened. Small things, and some of them you may never know what (if any) good they do... but that's true generosity.

No one (or few) can be happy all the time, but it's something to remember when you are. Shine if you can, reflect if you can't.

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That? Was incredible.

Thank you.

Now I'm going to go share it.

My two favorite clips are India (where he moves smoothly into the dance the women are doing), and the Zero-G.

The Seatle, Washington location at the end has several people in SciFi/Fantasy/Anime/Gamer costumes.

Right you are... happiness and joy are contagious, in a good way....

It is an incredibly empowering feeling to realize you just infected some people with joy.
I have experienced this, and it seems to happen spontaneously - hard to reproduce perhaps.

I was driving along I-66 with sutragirl on a sunny day. We matched speeds with a Metro train for a few minutes, and I was in such a good mood that I childishly smiled and waved hello to the passengers on the train. To our surprise nearly every passenger who was looking out the windows at that moment smiled and waved back. There must have been 50-60 smiling, waving, momentarily happy people...

Sutragirl claimed that only I could do that, but I think she is wrong and that it was a flash in the moment thing. Anyone with that youthful exuberance would have gotten the same result. It was a heady feeling all the same.

Smiles and hellos make strangers much more comfortable in elevators, lobbies, anyplace there are cramped quarters and momentary waiting.

Oh - there is also a subtle irony in the title of his website: http://www.wherethehellismatt.com
Hell is not a place, but a state of mind (at least many people believe that), and it is clear that Matt is not in that state of mind at all - but that he is helping to banish hell wherever he is... including some places one would not think of as happy places.

Today I was walking home from the T (haven't been able to do that much until recently) and I was listening to the score of _She Loves Me_. I had my umbrella and was dancing with it, and this man smiled at me. I think that's why I do goofy things like dance while I'm walking, because I'm hoping that while it makes me happy someone else will see it and it'll be contagious. Thanks for sharing this, it made me cry.

I makes me cry just thinking about it sometimes... and puts a smile on my face.

On the one hand, the video is amusing. On the other, I'm extremely jealous that someone got a gum company to sponsor his trip around the world just to make a silly video.

Then again, I have a retirement fund and health care so I should be happy.

My personal happy story is Little Feet, a charity that hands out soccer balls to needy kids all over the world. Because sometimes, kids just need to be kids and play. www.littlefeet.com

Little Feet sounds like a great idea...

Also, there's One Laptop Per Child, which may seem silly, but in the Internet world, getting everyone connected is vital for so many things...

The laptops are cute, and seem to work pretty well. FSG used them for registration, and I think in general they did OK... bit of a learning curve...

I <3 OLPC!! While I believe that children should learn to read with books before the Internet, one laptop can provide an infinite library to children who don't have any books to begin with.

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