As someone who crested the hill of life sometime ago and is now coasting slowly downhill to old age and everything it has to offer (aches, pains, hearing loss, vision loss, gray hair, saggy skin, memory issues, and various sports heroes, celebrities, and musicians from my youth meeting their maker, etc. etc.), I, like every other human who has ever lived and died, wonders what life is all about.

As someone who crested the hill of life sometime ago and is now coasting slowly downhill to old age and everything it has to offer (aches, pains, hearing loss, vision loss, gray hair, saggy skin, memory issues, and various sports  heroes, celebrities, and musicians from my youth meeting their maker, etc. etc.), I, like every other human who has ever lived and died, wonders what life is all about.

Do we really only get this one chance at life? Or is there something more once we shed our mortal coil after having passed through this veil of tears?

I am the eternal optimist. The glass is never half-empty; it’s always half-full. It’s kind of like my car’s gas tank during the winter: once the guage reaches half-full, I fill it up to full so it’s never half-empty or less.

Life, for the most part, is pretty darn good. I wake up each and every morning thankful for not just waking up, but for having the opportunity to simply live another day. I have a roof over my head, running water, and food to eat (note to self: buy groceries today).

We have it pretty good in America. There are a lot of places in the world that don’t have it so good. In fact, most of the people of the world live their lives never knowing what abundance is.

They don’t have decent shelter. They don’t have running water. They don’t have an adequate supply of food. They don’t have health care. Many live under oppressive governments that deny basic human rights.

The vast majority of Americans take life for granted, and sadly, most are ungrateful for the things they do have. We have been conditioned to always want more, to always have the next big thing. Capitalism is our religion, and money our god.

We envy and worship the rich, who have built an unassailable hierarchy purposely designed to keep the average parishioner (you and me) in our places.

The carrot of trickle down economics is dangled in front of our noses, just out of our reach, so we keep striving to live the American dream while our hard earned dollars serve only to prop up the capitalist  priesthood (the rich).

Capitalism is a rigged carnival game. The prizes look so good that you just have to play. Never mind that, in reality, you don’t stand a chance of winning the prize you want no matter how many times you play.

What is really frustrating is that we know the game is rigged, yet we keep playing! I’m not sure what that means exactly, other than what is says about human nature in general and Americans in particular.

Do we really need the latest iPhone? Do we really need a luxury SUV parked in our driveway? Do we really need a six-figure home to live in with a huge living room to accommodate a 72-inch LCD television?

We have been sold on the idea that accumulating wealth and possessions will make us happy, when in truth, it leads only to an  empty, unfulfilled life, always envious of those who have more.

Which, in a round-about way brings me back to my original premise of life being good. It all comes down to how each of us, as individuals look at life.

If you see life as being half-empty, you are going to want more and you will never be satisfied. If you see life as being half-full, you are content with what you have. You are satisfied.

I woke up this morning, meaning, I am alive to live another day. I am grateful for that.

The world is a beautiful place if you take the time to look and know where to  look. What’s all this then? I don’t have a clue, but I know that life is whatever we choose to make of it.