You ever meet one of those people who seem to delight in telling you how depressed they are. It seems they just can’t wait to tell you. And somehow, that seems to only make them more depressed. And you get this feeling that they’re trying to convince you they’re better or smarter than you because they’re depressed, because you don’t have the courage or smarts to be depressed.
I met a man like that yesterday. Well, I didn’t actually meet him for the first time but it was our first elongated conversation. We talked while we waited for our kids’ basketball game to start. His kids’ school was playing ours. He’s divorced so he doesn’t see his kids that much he told me. He complained that his wife insisted on sending his two kids to Catholic school, which he informed me is quite expensive. I told him I had five kids in our school and I agreed that it was expensive and hard. But hey, he interrupted, his ex-wife gets what she wants. She always did, he said. He watched his kids running around the court and I couldn’t help but think that he saw little dollar signs scampering around the court.
I said a quick prayer for him but the immediate effect must have been negligible because he then told me that his wife is miserable but she fakes happiness to the world. He said the world is a depressing place and at least he had the guts to face it. As he’s saying this I’m watching a father of two kids in our school come in with a cane. Not an old man. Probably not even 40. He was bent over and obviously struggling. And as he walked to a spot on the bleachers he had a smile for everyone in the room. And he smiled as his kids ran around the court as we waited for the refs to show up.
To me, the hardest thing in the world is to be happy. Any second of the day I could find a hundred things to make me sad or depressed or angry. The trick is finding the something that makes you happy. And sometimes even if you can’t remember the one thing, pretend like you do until you remember it again.
“So five kids, huh?” the depressed man asked. “Wow. You drank the Catholic Kool-Aid, huh?” The man then said to me that he thought faith was blind. I told him I didn’t think it was blind. I just think we’re looking at different things.