229 – August 17
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”—T.S. Eliot
Do you remember Roberto Benigni at the 71st annual Academy Awards? When Life is Beautiful, the movie he wrote, directed and starred in, won Best Foreign Film of 1998, he jumped for joy. Literally. Rarely have I seen an adult human being express happiness so openly and unselfconsciously. He filled himself up to overflowing, let the dam burst and filled the room with starburst laughing delight. He jumped up on the back of his seat, and ran down the backs of some other seats, then hopped to the podium. A sixteen-megaton smile blazed from his face, his eyes twinkled and he said, “Thank you, thank you. This is a moment of joy and I want to kiss everybody…my body is in tumult. I would like to be Jupiter and kidnap everybody right now in the firmament, making love to everybody!”
He was funny and he was adorable. His joy was so pure and so radiant that I could feel it through the television screen and share in it myself. I felt the warm embrace of his generous spirit. Alone in my room, I laughed out loud. I’m grinning now as I recall it. At that special moment in time, I was one with Roberto, his wife, and all the millions of audience members who felt that same radiant happiness.
Not everybody felt this way, mind you. In the days following, a lot of people seemed very uncomfortable with his open display of emotion. Newscasters laughed nervously, some critics rolled their eyes and shook their heads. What a pity. I understood, then, that you have to be happy yourself in order to share other people’s happiness. You also have to not care what other people think. I suppose it’s not cool to be joyful. Perhaps it isn’t mature either.
Well, I think maturity is a myth. I don’t know anybody mature. I just know children with older bodies. The people who talk about maturity aren’t mature—they’re just stuffy.
When you can share other people’s happiness, you can feel all the same feelings as though it had happened to you. Open up! Share the joy! And your own personal joy will grow in geometric progression. Practice feeling happy today. Then find some dolphins to share it with.
“Life is beautiful! Business is terrific! People are wonderful!”
I’m grinning to myself again just reading and remembering Roberto. What a cutie!
Someone on Facebook shared an adorable quote: “I’ve never been a millionaire, but I just know I’d be darling at it.”–Dorothy Parker
Yeah, me too! Follow your bliss, everyone!!