You Woke Up Breathing

You woke up breathing...what will steal your joy?

I was driving to work one morning, thinking about a new blog after boxing up an old one. I was listening to a podcast interview, mostly for background noise, to drown out the hum of the tires on the South Carolina tarmac. The roads here are like driving on ice cubes. Loud and chunky. Larry King was being interviewed, and I heard the interviewer ask King the exact question I would: “So, Larry. You’ve interviewed thousands of people on television and radio. Is there any one interview that stands out? That changed you in a fundamental way?”

Without hesitation, without even taking two seconds to think about it, King answered. And I paraphrase. “Way back, and I mean way back, years ago, I interviewed a shriveled up Indian Swami and I asked him the same question. I said, Swami. Tell me. You’ve thought about this. You’ve spent your life in pursuit of enlightenment. What is the most important thing you have to tell me?”

This guy didn’t even bat an eye. “You woke up breathing,” he said.

“Larry,” he went on. “You woke up breathing. How amazing is that? You. Woke. Up. Breathing.”

He continued. “Of the dozens of things that could have happened after you went to sleep last night, life is betting on you again. Lots of good people didn’t get that chance this morning. But you get another day. What is worth losing your joy over when you get another day? What will you let steal your happiness? You get another chance to kiss your wife. Another day to talk to your driver about golf. Another day to marvel. To smell the grass.

And that is the story of how I named the sight. I still work on joy, and I’m guessing that Larry King did his whole life. There are lots of things that compete for our attention. We should make joyful living our first desire.