Thursday, July 2

Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 316)

This is late but day 316 was difficult.  I spent most of the morning and half the afternoon writing about Steve M.  And I spent a few hours just grieving.  I had an Action for Happiness meeting in the evening and although it was our last official gathering, I really wasn't in the mood to go for a drink after.  Instead, I went for a walk to take some photos of the sunset, for Steve.  Being a happy person, as we know, doesn't mean we are always going to be happy in the moment.  But, even in our grief, we can be grateful and honouring.  And that brings us back out of those dark moments.

I am late, but I also wanted to leave my memorial to Steve holding primacy of place for as long as possible so that any of our friends who wanted to see it would find it easily. 

But, time to move on, so with that in mind...let's reflect on day 316....

1. I am grateful for Action for Happiness members meetings.  We had a commitment to meet for 8 weeks and discuss issues around how to make a happier world.  Our 8 weeks came to an end last night and while our room at the Westminster Abbey Centre was overpacked for the first couple of weeks, there was a core of around 12 of us that remained at the end.  I am grateful that we've decided to support one another and to continue meeting, with the assistance of the Charity and to continue to take action (both individually and collectively) to create more happiness in the world.

2. I am grateful that I had the time to dedicate to writing about Steve today.  I needed some space to really sit with the reality of his passing.  What really struck me was that I will never talk to him again.  I know that there are people for whom he was a part of their everyday real life.  For me, he was also a part of my everyday life, but a strangely private part.  People criticize engagement on social media as being superficial.  I disagree.  I think social media is a tool and the tool is limited.  But if you've had any real life engagement, social media can be a tool for deep intimacy.  Why?  I don't know - maybe its because we are freed of the threat that immediate reaction and implication brings in real life.  I am reminded of my teenage days.  I wonder if Steve was one of my high school friends who was the recipient of one of my deep, thoughtful and long letters about life, the universe and everything that I wrote in summers away from our peer group?  What makes middle of the night shared musings less intimate than a middle of the night monologue poured into a letter?  In fact, if you ask me, the time spent with Steve was more intimate because it was a dialogue and it was real time.  Yes, social media allows us to show only one side of ourselves.  But, so does real life interaction.  Whether we see through it and how much we see through it depends on our perceptiveness, not just the media of interaction.  The tool of social media will not alienate us or bring us together any more than we decide to be.  It is up to us how to use them.I am grateful for those moments with Steve,  and so I am grateful for Facebook for making those moments possible. 

3. I am grateful that I got a seat on the tube today.  It was hot and crowded and I felt dizzy and unwell for the last two stops of the trip and I am grateful I didn't have to go further than Westminster today.  Had I not had a seat, I don't know how I would have coped.  I forgot to bring cool water with me and so when I reached my destination, the first thing I did was to drink two glasses of water.  Always carry water on the tube, folks.  Its just too hot on there, in the summer.

Joy - It was a joy to walk through the park and chat with others taking photos.  The sky was beautiful and I was delighted to watch the moonrise at Buckingham Palace.

Oneness - I felt a sense of Oneness with all those in Toronto who were remembering, grieving and celebrating Steve today.

Service - I made a suggestion of resources to a person in my Action for Happiness group and committed to connecting her with someone who has more information on the Masters degree she wants to pursue.

A photo from today:

A photo posted by Tania Campbell (@pinkstarpix) on

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