Alright, I know I've referenced A Million Miles probably one too many times, but I won't apologize, it's incredible. I actually finished the book, but have since gone back through in an attempt to really take note of the parts that had an impact on me. There's on paragraph toward the end of the book that I found to really speak to some of the struggles I witness too much in those close to me.
"I don't ever want to go back to believing life is meaningless. I know there are biochemical causes for some forms of depression, but I wish people who struggle against dark thought would risk their hopes on living a good story - by that I mean finding a team of people doing hard work for a noble cause, and joining them. I think they'd be surprised at how soon their sad thoughts would dissipate, if for no other reason than they didn't have time to think them anymore. There would be too much work to do, too many scenes to write."
Now, I don't struggle with dark thoughts or depression on a daily basis, but I think we all have those moments were it seems the world is against us and we can't seem to reach the surface or break even. I've also experienced how devastating depression can be second-hand by walking through it with others. It is a struggle and a fight every day for those that suffer from it. However, I think setting your mind to do satisfying work really is half the battle. When I think of the people in my life who are sad and unsatisfied a majority of the time, I realize that these people's lives would radically alter if they would focus on something outside of and bigger than themselves. I'm not saying everyone should quit their job or move or end relationships, I am saying that finding something everyday that gives you purpose, reason, happiness is ESSENTIAL. In fact, I'm willing to bet that most people get more gratification out of doing one small act of kindness every day for a complete stranger than they do when they open their paycheck at the end of the month. If you're saying, "No, I like the paycheck," then I strongly encourage you to step back and take a look at what's really important in your life. That said, find that little piece of happiness or gratification in something bigger than you or what's immediately around you, and invest enough of yourself in it so that you have "too many scenes to write."
"If a blistered hand is what you've given, then you've been given all you'll ever need to know..." Bebo Norman