"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"The actual advice here is technically a quote from Kurt Vonnegut's "good uncle" Alex, but Vonnegut was nice enough to pass it on at speeches and in A Man Without A Country. Though he was sometimes derided as too gloomy and cynical, Vonnegut's most resonant messages have always been hopeful in the face of almost-certain doom.
And his best advice seems almost ridiculously simple: Give your own happiness a bit of brainspace. 2. 3. 4. 5. In These Times - Feb. 7, 2000 - God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian. God Bless You, Dr.
Kevorkian By Kurt Vonnegut My first near-death experience was an accident, a botched anesthesia during a triple bypass. I had listened to several people on TV talk shows who had gone down the blue tunnel to the Pearly Gates, and even beyond the Pearly Gates, or so they said, and then came back to life again. But I certainly wouldn't have set out on such a risky expedition on purpose, without first having survived one, and then planned another in cooperation with Dr. I hope the following reports convey a sense of immediacy. There will be no more round trips for me, barring another accident. To go through the Pearly Gates, no matter how tempting the interviewee on the other side, as I myself discovered the hard way, is to run the risk that crotchety Saint Peter, depending on his mood, may never let you out again. I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead.
The late Mr. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut. "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.
" A lot of people think Jesus said that, because it is so much the sort of thing Jesus liked to say. But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, five hundred years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ. The Chinese also gave us, via Marco Polo, pasta and the formula for gunpowder. The Chinese were so dumb they only used gunpowder for fireworks. And everybody was so dumb back then that nobody in either hemisphere even knew that there was another one. We've sure come a long way since then.
But back to people like Confucius and Jesus and my son the doctor, Mark, each of whom have said in their own way how we could behave more humanely and maybe make the world a less painful place. Get a load of this. "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. "As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. "As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
" And so on. Piece of cake.