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Finding enjoyment in life

February 18, 2013 - Kevin Sweeney
I was watching a report on the ill-fated Carnival Cruise ship last week. The interviewer was talking to a young man who had tried to keep a positive outlook throughout the week-long ordeal as the ship, without power, without sanitation, without fresh food, drifted after an engine room fire until being towed to Mobile, Ala.

The young man was told about the first lawsuit filed against the cruise line, by a 25-year-old woman seeking damages for her hellish experience. She was claiming to have suffered physical and emotional harm during the cruise, including anxiety, nervousness and the “loss of the enjoyment of life.”

I can’t blame anyone who went through that kind of experience for seeking damages. But I was struck by the phrase, “loss of enjoyment of life.” Is this woman never going to smile again? She’d only been off the ship a few hours, how does she know she has lost the enjoyment of life.

I thought about people I know who have been to places like Tanzania and Guatemala, on mission trips to help people who live in grinding poverty, who work long hours each day for enough money to buy barely enough food to survive, who walk miles each day to carry enough clean water, if it is clean water, back to their home. They endure more misery in a week than this woman had to live through on the cruise ship.

Yet one thing I hear from those who visited is how happy the people seemed. As hard as their life is, they enjoy it.

If they can be happy, I’m guessing this woman filing the lawsuit can be happy, too, if she tries.


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