“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher

Okay, class. Today we are going to have a look inside your brain. Located somewhere between the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the occipital lobe, and the temporal lobe is the pause button. My own research indicates that many people don’t realize their brain has a pause button.

Have you ever noticed how fast bad news or gossip travels? As a wise man said long ago, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Well now that I’ve had a chance to put on my pants, let me tell you the truth. All the news isn’t bad and not everyone is out to get you. Please hit the pause button and listen to me. Let’s start with one of my favorite Bible verses.

“This is the day the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

Last winter was tough. It was so cold most of the time I had little goose bumps on my arms. And all the little geese were wearing sweaters. But guess what? After Winter, Spring arrived just like it has since the world began oh so many years ago. And I’m betting it will show up again after next winter and all the winters after that. The flowers will bloom, the birds will chirp, and get out the lawn mower because it is very likely the grass will grow.

And if you’ll just hit the pause button now and then you can take in all the good things happening.

The blue sky with puffy white clouds drifting by. The sun coming up and the sun going down. How about that gentle breeze that’s busy rearranging your new haircut. Mother nature has plenty of free stuff to enjoy. How about a walk in the woods or a swim in the lake? Take a little time and plant a garden, the food seems to taste better when you grow it yourself.

When taking care of business, I’ll bet you’ll meet some interesting people in the waiting line at the bank or the checkout line at the grocery. Hit the pause button and start a conversation.

No, I do not live with my head in the sand. I know the world is not always kind. But you and I can be the good news. Hit the pause button long enough to smile at the folks you pass by. Be nice, be generous, be the light in someone’s darkness. I’m sure there is a worthy cause that would be happy to have you as a volunteer. Finally, count your blessings, the most important arithmetic you’ll ever do.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet